Liver Biopsy
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is Liver Biopsy?

This is a procedure to obtain a sample of your liver tissue.

Biopsies of the liver are usually done to evaluate:

  • Abnormal blood tests (eg, elevated liver enzymes, elevated copper, or iron in the blood)
  • An enlarged liver
  • The severity of liver diseases
  • The progress of therapy for liver diseases
  • A liver mass
  • The liver after a liver transplant

Possible Complications

If you are planning to have a liver biopsy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Pain (common)
  • Bleeding (uncommon)
  • Infection (rare)
  • Perforation of the gallbladder or intestines (rare)
  • Puncture of the lung (rare)

Call Your Doctor

After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the incision site
  • Severe abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting
  • A faint or light-headed feeling
  • Severe shoulder pain
  • Trouble breathing, cough, or chest pain

In case of an emergency, CALL 911.