PBC Foundation
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Concerns about liver biopsy

I seen my consultant recently, and even though my dosage of Urso had been increased to just about maximum of 1500mg per day, it seems my bloods have not settled so now I am facing having a biopsy. I've been told you don't really feel the needle going into the liver as they give you a local anaesthetic, but apparently once that wears off, it's like someone has cracked your ribs!!! Can anyone tell me, on average, how long does it usually take to feel comfortable after this treatment? I am going on a much needed holiday early in September and don't want to be in pain while I am away

8 Replies

I didn't have any pain at all afterwards, but thats not to say some don't


Gosh no, there is no pain afterwards and you most certainly cannot feel a thing.

When I had mine just over a year ago they had two attempts because the first

was fragmented. Nothing to worry about at all. You just lie on your right hand side afterwards

. . I drifted off to sleep.

Truly, its ok, I was terrified, but nothing to it.

Relax, I took my MP3 player to listen to while lying on my side.

But as I said I just drifted off to sleep.

xx Ros xx


Ladies, thank you ever so much for your input. I mus confess to being 100% coward, so it's good to know that I have nothing to worry about.


I felt a bit bruised for a couple of days but no bit deal -


Hello madmags,

Well to be a bit quizzical, I can't figure out if you have PBC why you are now having a biopsy.

Of course it is down to medical opinion and also patient agreement but as far as I can understand, a biopsy only really shows what is happening in that particular area of the liver as opposed to the whole liver.

Personally I know I'd not be in agreement as at present if one has PBC unless there is another treatment or it would really be advantageous then I couldn't see the point with regards to myself if I was offered one.

I certainly do think that now with advanced scans and even the bloods the medical profession can get a pretty accurate picture of how one is getting along.

I know in the US biopsy is considered standard when one has been diagnosed via the AMA and bloods but I know in England it's not normally deemed as that unless the diagnose could be questionable.

My late first husband had a liver biopsy (as well as other biopsies) years ago, recall going into hospital and him telling me at visiting what they had done during the day. Though you apparently don't feel it as such at the time of the procedure tho' I guess that varies from person to person. I think you'd probably feel perhaps as though you'd knocked yourself but I somehow think that it's very short-lived. Although I'm one who never bothers much and though I don't like going to the dentist I never bother but I reckon by comparison a biopsy does seem that bit more favourable to the dentist if you have some procedure! My problem is the fact you can lose your dignity and be herded about on the NHS that bothers me a lot.


I have had 2 liver biopsies to track the progression of the disease. I have only experienced the transfer pain in my shoulder following the procedure but nothing in the area of the biopsy itself. I always consent to an extra sample of tissue for research in hopes that it will help all of us who suffer from PBC!


I had my biopsy a few weeks ago. I was nervous but the staff clearly explained what was going to happen and put me at ease. The local felt like a sharp scratch, a moments discomfort and then it was all over. I got pain in my shoulder but a couple of paracetamol was all I needed. I was told to rest for the remainder of the day and not to lift anything over 10lbs in weight for a week, was back at work the next day. Just felt like a regular bruise at the 'puncture' site.


Hello madmags.

Just starting wading through the latest Bear Facts and thought of you when I noticed on the page which mentions Clinical Trials, there is a paragraph on liver biopsy that might interest you to read up on.


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