Ultrasound Guided Liver Biopsy

If there is a possibility of pregnancy, please inform the technologist prior to the date of your examination.

What to expect

A liver biopsy is done with ultrasound to remove a small sample of the liver which is found under the right chest area. A sample of the tissue is removed to diagnose liver problems and study the tumor.

A doctor uses an ultrasound image to find the liver area that will be biopsied. You will be given medicine to make you feel sleepy and groggy while still being awake enough to follow simple instructions.

Your skin will first be cleaned and marked where the needle will be put in. A local numbing medicine (anesthetic) is then injected into the skin. You may feel a sting when the numbing drug is injected. Once you are numb, a long hollow needle is placed into the liver. It’s common to feel pressure or pain when the needle is placed. You will be given medicine to help you relax. Samples will be taken and sent for testing. Once complete, a dressing will be placed over the site. The procedure most often takes 45-60 minutes.

On the day of your exam

Please arrive approximately 15 minutes prior to your appointment time to allow for parking and registration. If you bring friends or family to the appointment they will be asked to have a seat in a waiting room during your test. Children cannot be left unattended during the test, so please arrange for a caregiver.

After the procedure

If lab tests are ordered, the results will go to your practitioner within 24 to 48 hours. You may have mild pain and/or bruising at the site. Keep the biopsy area clean and dry for 24 hours. Take Tylenol/Acetaminophen for pain. (Do not take more than 4000 milligrams (mg) in a 24 hour time span). Use an ice pack if needed. It’s okay to shower anytime, but wait 7 days before swimming or taking a tub bath. Avoid heavy lifting, exercising, or activity for the first 24 hours.


Our radiologist will study your examination and a report will be forwarded to your practitioner, from whom you may obtain the results. If you have any questions regarding this procedure, please contact our department at at 608-342-4740.

Date of appointment _______________________________________ Time_____________________

Your procedure will be performed at Southwest Health at 1400 Eastside Road – Platteville, WI 53818. Please use the Main Hospital Entrance and check in at the Registration Desk prior to your scheduled procedure.

If you cannot keep your appointment please contact the radiology department at 608-342-4740 so that me may accommodate another patient.

NOTE: It may take 2-3 days to obtain verification from your insurance company for exams that require prior authorization, such as CT, MRI, Nuclear Stress, Injections, etc.