Liver Biopsy appointment: As title says... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Liver Biopsy appointment

ktan49 profile image

As title says, my hepatolagist emailed me today to say a letter has been sent out for my biopsy procedure... is it painful? I really hope they can find the cause of all these symptoms.. brainfog is so annoying.. i can't even do simple tasks anymore.

Am I right in saying you stay in hospital for 6 ish hours to check for complications?

Hope you're all OK as can be.

18 Replies

Hi, I can honestly say it wasn't comfortable but it was manageable and didn't take too long. It was more strange than painful if that makes sense. If it helps, while they were doing it I imagened I was at the beach with my boys and that really helped me to not think about what they were doing. I think the length of stay is so they can monitor you afterwards as well. I had mine whilst I was an inpatient but was on bed rest for an hour afterwards and had regular obs for a while too.

Good luck with it all and I hope it gives you the answers you need. I got my diagnosis from the results and that was such a relief x

ktan49 profile image
ktan49 in reply to LeilaB2019

Thank you for your reply Leila, much appreciated. I am hoping it will also give me my diagnosis as I had no luck with fibroscan & ultrasound.

Thanks again, all the best

LeilaB2019 profile image
LeilaB2019 in reply to ktan49

I didn't have a fibroscan but I did have a CT and an ultrasound. The CT found a small lesion that was completely unrelated to my condition but otherwise showed up nothing. I hope the biopsy finds answers for you. Keep us posted xx

carefull1 profile image
carefull1 in reply to LeilaB2019

Hi LeilaB2019, what was your diagnosis, if you don't mind sharing. My request for biopsy has been declined.

LeilaB2019 profile image
LeilaB2019 in reply to carefull1

Hi there. I had a drug induced liver injury (DILI) caused by an antibiotic called nitrofurantoin. The biopsy showed results consistent with a drug injury although they did say they couldn't rule out autoimmune hepatitis. My blood results and my symptoms etc led the consultants to believe it was DILI though and not down to autoimmune issues.

My blood results were very high by the time I got the biopsy though. I think it is a procedure they only do if they really think it is necessary. Have they given you an idea of what they think might be causing your problems?

carefull1 profile image
carefull1 in reply to LeilaB2019

They said they don't know. I do have an appointment in July to see gastroenterologist though

LeilaB2019 profile image
LeilaB2019 in reply to carefull1

Fingers crossed the gastroenterologist has some answers for you x

My biopsy was totally painless. Took all of five minutes. Wishing you the same

Best of luck!

Lorraine Louise

Hi Ktan, I can honestly say the most painful part was the injection of local anaesthetic. Other than that a walk in the park. Took about 5 minutes. Then it’s the wait for the result that I found difficult.


Hi, had one recently after new liver transplant. As Leila said, not the nicest experience of my life - but perfectly manageable. Do not fret about it.

The 6 hours rest is to prevent any chance of internal bleeding, so they just need to monitor you.

Honestly, you’ll be fine.


Hi ktan,

I assume you're speaking of a liver biopsy?

I had a biopsy done a month or two ago. It wasn't painful - I would say a bit uncomfortable. I was given a local anesthetic and couldn't really feel the needle go in. I had to stay in the hospital all day - the procedure was done at about 10am in the morning. They wanted me to stay in all night because I had no-one at home to check on me, but as I seemed OK at the end of the day and had my neighbors to help me, they let me go home in a taxi.

I hope this helps.


Hi, I've had 2 liver biopsys, 1 through my side and one through my neck (trans jugular) neither hurt just have to pay still. I had to have 12 hour bed rest after due to risk of bleeding. It will be fine.


Hi ktan49,

I posted a detailed reply to this a little while ago. Without going into the details again, it’s the first 2 injections that I found uncomfortable. The procedure is quite straight forward. They will tell you and show you what they are going to do. There is a bit of a bang but as you know it’s coming, your prepared for it. Takes a few minutes and then that’s it. I was worried about it but it’s a tiny incision and the machine looks big but they don’t use all of it. The problem I had was trying to lay flat for 6 hours after it. There was also a bit that’s uncomfortable a few days after, but that’s just your body repairing afterwards. It’ll all be done really quickly. I was scared beforehand but during and after there’s not much to worry about.

Hope this helps


Thank you all for the replies, feel bit more at ease now.

Trust1 profile image


Here is our general information on Liver Biopsy;

We would suggest to make a list of questions to ask the clinician when they come to consent you for the procedure.

Good luck


ktan49 profile image
ktan49 in reply to Trust1

Thanks i'll have a read now.

As others have said; it's tolerable and the worst part is having to lay still for 6 hours especially when you want a wee.

I had a newly qualified doctor do mine under close supervision from an experienced one. He missed my liver the first time but even that was ok (this was without ultrasound or other viewing technology to help find the target.)


I found it uncomfortable but at one point they missed and hit a rib so did make me wince as little. There should a nurse next to you all the time reassuring you. My wife is a nurse and they let her watch the procedure she loved it. Lol. I had to be in all day then 5 hours after the procedure as I’m hep b positive and my platelets were sitting around 100. Today they are at 40 which didn’t help when I caught myself with my razor this morning.

I’m due to have a second biopsy which needs to go in via my neck again due to the platelets. my consult believes they have miss diagnosed the condition and I am cirrosed and not fibrosed as first thought. but she also said there’s a 20% chance in some patients with liver conditions that two different parts of the liver taken in a biopsy can show two different results.

I am now waiting to see if I’m compensated or decompensation as now the hep is under control my levels are still all over the place.

Hope it all goes well for you and like the comment in an earlier reply think of the beach and just close your eyes

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