Liver biopsy recover time

Hi wonderful people here!

My biopsy is scheduled for next monday (dec 18) and i will be flying to see my mum a few days later. we plan to do some vacation things and work around the house.

How long does recovery take for a biopsy? I don't want to be very sore and yucky feeling over christmas so should I move the biopsy to early January?

thanks and happy holidays to all.

12 Replies

  • The advice i was given was that i shouldn't return to work for a day or two after. I didn't feel particularly different from normal save for a little bit of shoulder pain for about 24 hrs. That was easily resolved with a bit of paracetamol and after that nothing. I suspect in the majority of cases that may probably be the same.

    I also got the advice not to do anything too strenuous for a couple of weeks after, so no heavy lifting or contact sport. Other than that everything could continue pretty much as normal. So i would imagine you could probably do most things you intended to do anyway.

    Of course, there is a small risk that there may be complications, and this will be explained to you. They're probably quite rare and i've never experienced any. Hopefully others will give you there experience too so you get a bit of a balance of views before making a decision.

  • Everybody is different but can’t say that I really suffered much other than a dull ache for about 24 hours or so. The biggest drama for me was on my first visit they couldnt see the affected area because my lung was in the way. So I was sent home and rebooked for a few days later. Feeling quite low we booked a quick trip to Florence and I immediately felt better. I told my hepatologist and he muttered the immortal words “This biopsy is critical, and if we have to go through your lung we will. If this is the case you won’t be flying anywhere” forever the pragmatist I went away and rearranged plan b into a 3 week driving holiday. Biopsy went ahead as arranged on the Friday, Lung remained untouched. Flew to Florence on Monday extended the break to spend 4 days in Venice. Got the call on the Monday night to confirm large suspect area was non cancerous and upon my return I would be admitted for Full Transplant Make Up to ensure I was a suitable candidate to go on the list. I remember it all like it was yesterday the tears,the laughter, the fear, but whilst I am writing this I have a huge smile across my face even though my story doesn’t necessarily have a happy ending. I write a blog about living with cancer which outlines my whole experiences from Initial diagnosis to today and every stop in between. It can be found at www.

    Good luck and most of all don’t worry

  • My first thought was flying, not a good idea after a biopsy but then everyone is different just double check that is OK you don't want to have problems on the plane

    But I do hope you have good news from the biopsy

  • After the biopsy you lay on your side so there is pressure on the area they have done the biopsy, this is to stop any possible bleeding. They monitor you during this, possibly a couple of hours, I can't remember. Then when they are happy that everything has healed up OK you can go home. I wasn't given any advice about time off work, biopsy is different for different people, the procedure was done on a Thursday and I told my employer I would take Friday off. On Friday I stayed in bed, from choice not necessity, then went back to work on Monday. There was some discomfort but not real pain. so it was OK really. However I don't think it would be a good idea to go and chop a tree down! The issue is the flying and if the pressure in the aircraft and the long periods sitting in the same position are likely to cause problems. Contact the hospital and ask them. If you are going to be anxious about what might happen cancel and enjoy your Christmas.

  • Be aware complications can happen, I had breathing problems and intense pain afterwards because the needle had caught my diaphragm, I couldn't do anything for a couple of weeks and it was several more weeks before I recovered. Obviously most people have it done without any problems at all but others are not so lucky.

    I hope it goes well for you.

  • I've no idea as my GE won't do one because I have low platelets. But for myself, if I had any qualms about having one before a vacation/trip/flight, better to be safer than sorry, and reschedule it for after your holiday.

  • My daughter had a biopsy and flew to Vietnam two days later. The trip had been booked and paid for long before so she didn't want to miss it. Her friends carried her cases for her and she was careful not to do anything strenuous for a week or so. Had there been any complications, she would not have gone and I was concerned, but everything was fine.

  • I rested the day of and was completely fine. Able to go back to work the next day. Wishing you the same.

  • Hi Ang2018, i had similar experience with our friends below. I took one day off work to start with but after the first day feeling a dull pain and i refused to take any painkillers so it went way with herbal teas and sleeping.:-). However i had to take the second day off just to make sure that i was well and able to drive.

    If i were in your place i would have it done and get it over with rather than wait until January. You would'n feel very sore during the holiday season at times you would even forget that you had it done.

    Best of luck and bare in mind that the biopsy itself it hurts, but only last about 2 hours and I drove myself home after that so it wasn't that bad.

    Happy holidays to you all!

  • Thanks to everyone for their feedback. I saw my liver doc today and she said just get it over with so next monday its on. Cheers.

  • As your with family I'm sure you will be ok. I have PSC and had a liver biopsy and had a bleed but didn't know until 5 days afterwards which then triggered a cholangists flare up. Just take it easy for a few days. But if the docs so all okay then enjoy your time x

  • Reporting back...just had biopsy this morning. staff was incredible and went smoothly. there were two pain options, 1 for pain or 1 for pain and anxiety. i took the second. checked in at 7am and back home around noon [i live near the hospital]. procedure itself was quick and painless.

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