Preparing for Biopsies and Diagnostic Procedures

Biopsies are performed to acquire tiny pieces of tissue either for the diagnosis or staging of cancer, or for molecular testing to better characterize a tumor to guide an individual treatment plan for each patient. Image Guided Biopsies are performed in different parts of Diagnostic Imaging for many different indications.

Breast Diagnostic procedures including ultrasound guided and stereotactic guided biopsies are performed in the Women’s Center. Our breast imagers perform MRI guided breast biopsies as well.

Biopsies of the lung, liver, lymph nodes and other body parts are performed in the main diagnostic imaging area using either CT or ultrasound guidance.

Breast Diagnostic Procedures /Women’s Cancer Center

See Breast Cancer Diagnosis


Lung Biopsy – CT guided

If your doctor has scheduled a CT guided lung biopsy it means that an abnormal area or nodule in your lung is well seen by CT imaging but cannot be further characterized without tissue sampling.

During the procedure will be lying on the CT table, either on your back or stomach and using CT guidance, the radiologist will place a very small needle though your chest wall to access cells from the abnormal area. Your skin will be cleaned and numbed first and throughout the procedure, you will receive IV medication (“conscious sedation”) to relax you and make you drowsy. Because you will be receiving the IV medication, for your safety you cannot eat or drink the morning of the procedure. The risks of the procedure are rare but include a pneumothorax (collapse of the lung) and bleeding. You will be asked to stop any blood thinners including aspirin or Ibuprofen prior to the biopsy. After the procedure you will stay with our nurses to ensure your safe recovery, usually for 1-2 hrs. 
Read more on Lung Cancer (Thoracic) Cancer Treatment »

Liver/Lymph Node/ Soft tissue biopsy – Ultrasound or CT guided

Whether CT or ultrasound guided, the radiologist will clean and numb your skin and using a very small needle will access small pieces of tissue from the abnormal area.

Dermatology Procedures and Dermatologic Biopsies


Preparing for Dermatology Procedures