Liver biopsy

During this test a doctor takes a small piece of tissue from the liver to look at under a microscope.

A liver biopsy is a test used to help diagnose primary liver cancer and secondary liver cancer.

During a liver biopsy, you may have a small piece of tissue taken from the liver to be looked at under a microscope.

You will have blood tests before the biopsy to make sure your blood is clotting properly. When you have the biopsy, you will have a local anaesthetic injection into the skin to numb the area. The doctor then passes a fine needle through the skin and into the tumour. A CT scan or ultrasound scan guides the doctor to the exact area to take the biopsy from.

After a liver biopsy, you will need to stay in hospital for a few hours or sometimes overnight. This is because there is a small risk of bleeding afterwards. The nurses will check you regularly and monitor your blood pressure. This is to make sure there is no bleeding and that it is safe for you to go home. You may have some pain in your tummy and right shoulder after the biopsy. Your doctor can prescribe painkillers for you.