Incredibly painful liver biopsy: Had my... - PBC Foundation

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Incredibly painful liver biopsy

Had my biopsy a few days ago in California. No sedation offered. I would had refused anyway. Radiologist used midline approach right under sternum. He injected local but I don't think he inject deep enough. It was one of the most painful experiences of my life. He had to stab me 3 times with the biopsy gun. Results coming soon.

10 Replies

Mine was exactly the same. It was like being kicked in the stomach by a donkey, despite the local. Fortunately, it felt much better in a day or two but I had lingering pain for another month. Hope your results are fine.

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Hi tinypixie hope you're doing well. X


Hi mike932, sorry to hear you had a bad experience with your biopsy, I had a very similar experience, I am quite hardy and have a high pain threshold but my biopsy was very painful too and I felt a bit traumatised afterward. You read of people having the procedure done and saying it was a walk in the park but sometimes depending who's performing the test it can be very painful. I found out later that the doctor who did mine was a student doctor who wasn't experienced and was meant to wait for the consultant but he decided to get it done before the consultant got there to make a good impression!! I ended up fainting with the pain, it was also 3 attempts like yourself!!! I definitely think you should be offered sedation I think I would have accepted it. Don't want another one in a hurry. All the best with your results 🤞


This route to liver biopsy was also my experience .. have told my consultant that I will not undergo another Without a general anaesthetic ...

It dies get better, keep moving though , that's important an breathing exercises . Look up Alexandra technique

Stretch slowly and straighten up using core muscles to support getting in out of bed , chair etc

You will be fine x


Didn't they give you any fentenol? I had a local and then the fentenol and even though it was uncomfortable I didn't care. I did wake up in the night after my biopsy and felt achy and like death was coming for me. I thought I may as well forget a transplant because I could barely handle the biopsy. Sending up a prayer for a good diagnosis for you.

Best wishes



Thanks everyone. No fentanyl. Just local but I did not feel numbed at all. Luckily, I felt almost no pain afterwards. I feel great now.


Wow! Is all I can say to everyone here. How horrible! My first biopsy was done at the same time as my bariatric bypass, so if I had a little more pain who would know.

My second biopsy I was wide awake and no anesthesia, nope not even local. The doctor talked me through it by practicing breathing (taking a deep breath, letting it out half way and holding my breath) with me until we were in sync. Then he inserted the needle from behind through two ribs. He really stressed how important it was for me to relax and instructed me to tell him when I was ready. He was REALY good. Hardly felt a thing. Didn't have to wait around in the office (in case of a bleed) And wasn't sore after. The worst part of the whole procedure was my anx before hand as I was told by others it would really hurt. I don't know why mine went well while others hurt ALOT! I wonder if the technique of coming from the back was a factor.

I am sorry for your pain. Hopefully if you ever have to have another it will be pain free.



I had my biopsy under a mild sedative. Lasted less than 5 minutes. Never felt a thing,never even but sore. If I didn't have the tiniest bandaid I wouldn't have known I ever had anything done.

I just it really depends on who does it.

I'm counting my blessings.


I had mild sedation never felt a thing, sorry you went through that.


Finally got biopsy results. Zero liver damage. Just a tiny bit of inflammation from being overweight. PBC could still show up in the future since I tested positive for AMA


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