Before your liver biopsy, you'll meet with your doctor to talk about what to expect during the biopsy. This is a good time to ask questions about the procedure and make sure you understand the risks and benefits.
Stop taking certain medications
When you meet with your doctor, bring a list of all medications you take, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins and herbal supplements. Before your liver biopsy, you'll likely be asked to stop taking medications and supplements that can increase the risk of bleeding, including:
- Aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) and certain other pain relievers
- Blood-thinning medications (anticoagulants), such as warfarin (Coumadin)
- Certain dietary supplements that may increase risk of uncontrolled bleeding
Your doctor or nurse will let you know if you need to temporarily avoid any of your other medications.
Undergo blood tests
Before your biopsy, you'll have a blood test to check your blood's ability to clot. If you have blood-clotting problems, you may be given a medication before your biopsy to reduce the risk of bleeding.
Stop eating and drinking before the procedure
You may be asked not to drink or eat for six to eight hours before the liver biopsy. Some people can eat a light breakfast.
Prepare for your recovery
You may receive a sedative before your liver biopsy. If this is the case, arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure. Have someone stay with you during the first night or to check on you. Many doctors recommend that people spend the first evening within an hour's driving distance of the hospital where the biopsy is done, in case a complication develops.
Nov. 19, 2011
- Liver biopsy. Alexandria, Va.: American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. http://www.aasld.org/practiceguidelines/Pages/guidelinelisting.aspx. Accessed Sept. 28, 2011.
- Bravo A, et al. Transjugular, laparoscopic and fine needle aspiration liver biopsy. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 28, 2011.
- Liver biopsy. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/liverbiopsy/index.aspx. Accessed Sept. 28, 2011.