How you prepare

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Most needle biopsy procedures don't require any preparation on your part. However, you may be asked to stop taking blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin (Coumadin) or aspirin, in the days before your biopsy. Depending on what part of your body will be biopsied, your doctor may ask you not to eat or drink before the procedure. Ask your doctor whether either applies to you.

Preparing for sedation or general anesthesia

In certain cases, you may receive intravenous (IV) sedatives or general anesthetics before your needle biopsy. If this is the case, your doctor may ask that you fast the day before your procedure. Tell your doctor about any medications you're taking, as you may need to stop taking certain medications before undergoing anesthesia.

You won't be able to return to work immediately if your needle biopsy is done under IV sedation or general anesthesia. Depending on your duties, you may be able to return to work in 24 hours. Talk to your doctor about when it's safe to return to work.

Make arrangements or ask friends or family to:

  • Drive you home
  • Stay with you for 24 hours
  • Help with household chores for a day or two
Aug. 31, 2012