Liver Biopsy pt2!: Hello again, I have... - British Liver Trust

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Liver Biopsy pt2!

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Hello again, I have now received my appointment for my Liver Biopsy and I am terrified!

Could people please give me some advice, I am being sedated, but is there a way you can be totally put out, like an operation? I am worried, I will get so stressed, that I will move and cause major internal problems!

Is there any other test I can have instead? I have had a fibro-scan and my last ultrasound was about 18 months ago, but was wondering if there was any other test I could have.

What happens if I don't have a biopsy? Will the hospital no longer treat me?

Sorry for all the questions, but I cannot tell you how scared I am!

Thank you so much for any advice.

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Do not stress over this. I had one under "twilight" sedation, did not feel anything. Woke up when the needle clicked and it was over. More pain at the dentist office having teeth cleaned.

in reply to 66766

Thank you, this helps, although I have to have 'horse tranquilizers' to get me to the dentist! But, thank you for your help, its all been very quick & overwhelming.

I've had one done and it's really not that bad, it's uncomfortable but I would not say painful.

Mine was also done with the use of an ultrasound so that they can see exactly where the needle is etc. Try not to worry. The contraption they use does "look" quite large but I believe this is more to do with the mechanism that takes the biopsies as opposed to the size of the needle. Like others have said the worst bit really is the wait after. You are told to lie on the side of the biopsie for a good few hours. But like I said it's more of an uncomfortable slightly sickly feeling rather than pain.

in reply to Identity75

Thank you :) Luckily I don't get freaked out by needles but I've never had anything done internally before & heard some horror stories! Thanks again.

I had a liver biopsy and cyst aspiration done guided with ultrasound, I was given a local and watched the whole thing, they are very patient and tell you everything they are doing, the main thing is the 'click' the biopsy tool makes, they took 4 biopsies. You then are made to lay on your side, not allowed out of bed for 4 hours, although this may have been different because of the aspiration. I was sore afterwards, I was offered pain relief when I was discharged the next day, but didn't need it, I went back to work too quickly which didn't help, but within a couple of days I was fine.

in reply to Dulux

Thank you :)

I had mine done under local. They used an ultra scan to confirm they are in the right place. You are required to sit sill for 4 to 6 hours with nothing to eat or drink to enable the liver to heal. A wet flannel & cewing gum to stop my mouth drying out helped.

You do have a pain in the shoulder blade afterwards. I wouldn't be worried if I had to have one done again . I hope it goes well

I had my liver biopsy with just a local and ultrasound guidance also. I was nervous, but it wasn't painful. As I recall there was a slight pinch when they took the sample(s) - they had to get two from me because the first was too small. For me the most difficult part was the IV they put in beforehand, because the nurse was new and the needle broke off in my vein (!). I believe the IV was just for hydration and in case they needed to give me anything else. You'll do great, just tell them you are very anxious and they can adjust accordingly. Your doctor probably needs the information a biopsy can provide, such as staging of your progression.

hi, i dont usually post however i do read a lot of other ppls posts which give me strength.,i had to have a liver biopsy last year,and like you i was petrified,a chat with a nursing sister down at my surgery calmed me down when she said,ok you cant go through it awake,and a lot of ppl cant,then theyre going to have to find a way to do this while youre aleep,and they did.!,i was under general anaesthetic and quite happy,stick to youre guns and dont be fobbed off,only you know what you can and cant accept,.good luck.x

Good morning bellerin,

I think the overwhelming message from everyone here is 'don't worry' and I completely agree.

The sedation can be tailored you your level of fear, just let them know how terrified you are.

I've had two and both went very well, as you mentioned yourself, somebody with dental phobia is definitely going to have a problem. My dental phobia is pretty bad and I was very worried before my first liver biopsy. However, like everyone here, after it was over, my first thought was 'why was I so scared ?'

By the way, the second biopsy was different, I had the Trans - jugular liver biopsy route. A fine needle is introduced into the jugular vein and threaded through to the liver. The biopsy is taken internally with less risk of bleeding, which is of course a risk in any biopsy, that will be explained to you before the procedure. This was also done with sedation and went really well.

I hope all the messages have helped and you let us know how it went.


Biopsy is the gold standard test to see what is going on in your liver at the cellular level. If doctors arn't yet 100% convinced of your diagnosis or need to check for ongoing inflammation it is the only way to go - scans won't do what a biopsy will. So yes you will need to go through with the biopsy for doctors to tailor your treatment going forwards.

As the majority of other posters have said it is quick and relatively painless - the most annoying bit is usually the lying down for several hours afterwards to prevent any internal bleeding.

My hubby has had two of these - one via the side route which is the basic one and also a tranjugular one like Jim describes. Neither caused him any trouble at all (he described the same mild click sensation with the first as others have and a pulling and slight tweak in right shoulder with his TJ procedure) and he has serious 'white coat syndrome' when it comes to all things medical, dentistry etc. He's said often he would rather have a hundred liver biopsies than one endoscopy but it's been the other way round for him.

You'll be fine and you'll be well monitored in hours following to check all has gone ok. Discuss your anxieties with medics on your admittance and they will make sure it's as relaxed for you as you need it to be.

Best wishes.


Hi please go have the biopsy I wasn't sedated they just numbed the area it's nothing I was worried for nothing just like you, no pain at all good luck Fina's

Thank you lovely, lovely people! I am still very terrified, but I will making sure that the hospital knows that and I will make sure I can have as much sedation as I can! Thanks again :)

good luck ballerin .the best thing you can do is have every test done available to you .I am completely baffled as to why after living with cirrhosis 9 years now all I have had Is one endoscopy and some some scans

I was drained 3 times in 2008 and I was placed on low sodium diet of which I am still on .I often ask myself why am I not being tested on like others are . I do worry yet my LFT have all shown that the liver Is still doing its job .Yes that's good news but I really would like to have a full MOT so to speak .I hope all goes ok ! oh I am terrible at the dentist but after a good few visits over the last year at the oral surgery clinic at hospital I not so bad .grab all the tests you can .😊

in reply to Millie09

Thank you :) still very nervous, but I going to take very drug they can give me!!

I can only give you general answers as I have not had yoir particular problem, but having had sedation on several occasions for different procedures, I can assure you that it is fine, and works brilliantly for a biopsy. You will not remember anything, (or only vague memories) about the procedure afterwards. You should not drive for the rest of the day, or make any important decisions! If snything it will leave you feeling a little giggly - or maybe that's only me 😊

Like Katie said, you do really need to have this done, as it is likely that no other test can give them enough information to know what treatment is best for you, but you will be fine! Best wishes, and please let us know how well it went 😊 xx

in reply to nimue

Thank you :) I will let you know, its booked for next Tuesday, so I will definitely stay away from any online shopping that day! Thanks again.

I've just had jugular liver biopsy. Under local. No pain just three clicking noises. All done in 20 minutes. I am medical phobic and this hospital in particular as my husband died there. Honestly go, tell them you are anxious. They can give you sedation part way through. My radiologist said jugular is much kinder to patients and much safer. It costs the NHS more but you can ask for it. Good luckxxx


Yes it is scarey but a biopsie is the best way of finding out about the condition of your liver. Hopefully once you have the biopsie you shouldnt need another. I was lucky in that I had mine done during surgery so I was out of it. My surgery was stopped but reverted to biopsie. Im glad they did that, although frustrated now that my surgery has been postponed. At least you are being looked at and something is being done. Yes it is scarey so talk this over with your surgeon ask if you can have a sedative. As long as you keep appointments and keep a dialogue with the hospital all will be fine. As for any thought of moving during the procedure, once again talk it through with the surgeon they would have been asked the same question by most patients so dont feel alone with that. We are all scared. Try not to think of any long term issues just stick to today. Talk everything through and try and relax. If a sedative is on offer take it and dont take no for an answer. Take someone with you and take something to take your mind off things like a good book or music or both. You will be ok.

I did suffer with some discomfort afterwards but not sure if that was the surgical cut or not. Your procedure will be less invasive. I had 5 holes in my stomach but you should only have one or two. The discomfort may last for a few weeks and feels like you are bruised but nothing a paracetamol wont take care of.

Good luck

Thank you very much :)

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