liver biopsy

I am scheduled to have a liver biopsy on Tuesday. I know most of you have had this done. I find that I am really freaked out about it!! I have a fear of needles. I know I will have to have other unpleasant "things" done throughout my disease progression, but I can't even think about the biopsy without wanting to panic. Sorry for being such a baby.....thanks for listening.

18 Replies

  • I too have a major fear of needles but had a biopsy end of feb and can honestly say that the op was easy compared to the panic of the weeks b4 hand. i think your mind makes it 1000% worse than it is and once it was over i was like " i done it" wasnt as bad as i thought. was uncomfortable for a couple of days but copeable. sorry if this doesnt make any sense but only had a couple of hours sleep.

  • Good luck. Try and stay calm. I know it's easier said than done. It really is not as bad as the anticipation. Actually staying lying down for the few hours after is the worse bit. Honestly, it's fine. We will all send you good vibes.

  • Hi engasser,

    Your not a baby at all....its that old 'fear of the unknown' scenario compounded with your fear of needles!!

    I too was absolutely petrified when I went for mine and would be lying if I said otherwise.....but you WILL be fine. The whole procedure only takes about 15 minutes and it will all be over with before you know it. The only needle you may feel (but there again you may not) will be the one they use to administer the local anaesthetic to the area.

    I try and use a distraction or mind over matter to conquer any fears I may have and what worked for me on the day was talking to the nurse. I told them how nervous I was and that if we could talk about anything other than what was happening to me then that may help me. The Dr said that that was ok by him as long as I did not move or laugh and stopped talking when he have to take a deep breath in and hold it at the time of taking the actual biopsy. The nurse was excellent she held my hand right throughout the procedure and kept talking to me the whole time telling me about a holiday she had been on to Florida where she swam with dolphins. I don't recall saying much at all but that may have been her intention..... but the fact that she was keeping me entertained so to speak...distracted me enough from the procedure and the time just flew.

    Good luck for tuesday...and try not to panic.

    Big hugs



  • I think you have hAd sound advice esp about the actual fear of needles.the biopsy is like a quick hard tap on your chest .i dont recall a needle as such.i had no anaesthetic And felt no pain. Enjoy time with family this easter.

  • Hi I had no problems with my biopsy at all, didn't feel a thing, I was infact chatting to the nurse as well, so much so I didn't realise he had done it, I just heard a click but felt nothing at all, the only thing I was anoyed about was they wouldn't give me anything to eat after and I was starving hungry. Don't worry to much and enjoy easter weekend.

  • Thank you so much for the positive feedback and for sharing your experiences with me. I will try and be brave.

  • Out of interest engasser, do you live in the US?

    Here in England it isn't the norm to have a biopsy if you have been diagnosed with PBC via symptons (I presented with itching and at the time fatigue in 2010) and abnormla/deranged LFTs.

    I understand biopsies are performed if a doctor is in doubt as to what the LFTs and AMAs are actually showing.

    But to be honest from what I have read about a biopsy it's something that is apparently a quick procedure. I know I would more than likely have consented to one had it have been mentioned if the AMA blood test didn't prove a positive for myself as that was the next step in finding out what was the problem in 2010. The ONLY thing that would have appealed to me would probably have been the fact that I wasn't going to stay in hospital but attending just as an out-patient for the procedure and then going back home.

    All the best.

  • I do live in the US. They want to do a biopsy because they think I might also have AIH overlap. I probably wouldn't do it otherwise. I read that it affects the liver in different places. So one might show stage 1 and another sight might show stage 3. Sigh.

  • Call the Dr. and ask if you can have a sedative. They can give you a short acting one I think. The fear is the worse part of it. On my first one, I didn't have one, and was shakining and cold. It was in the winter. So for the 2nd, I asked for a sedative. It stopped me from shakining, and was a lot easier.


  • That is a good idea. Knock my butt out. Thank you

  • I've just been reading this which is helpful. I live in uk and just recently been told I have PBC and consultant has told me I need a biopsy to see what stage it is at. I asked what if biopsy showed it wasn't pbc , he said this was very unlikely. I just worried now as peridot you mention usual here to have biopsy unless consultant unsure of what is showing, could this mean not pbc? He said when I asked was I having biopsy to confirm pbc he said no mainly for staging but it would def confirm pbc in process, even though he said I def have it. Sorry does this make sense. Thanks

  • From what I read you can get different stages from different parts of the liver as PBC affects different parts of the liver. That's why I didn't want to do it. But they think I also have AIH and think they can find this out by doing a biopsy. Hope that helps. Hope what I read is correct as I'm new to PBC too.

  • I've read mention many times of AIH could someone please tell me what it is?? I must be dumb or something, but can't figure it out. :-)

    Thanks, Dorothy

  • Dorothy, AIH=auto - immune hepatitus

  • Thanks Wendymarie, after much pondering & further readings, l had worked itl out. (excuse the spelling - my tablet has a mind of it's own)

    Cheers, Dorothy

  • Everytime I see some acronym that I don't know, I just type it on Google Search engine to find out....LOL

  • My biopsy was Jan. 2013. On a scale of 1 - 10, with 10 being the most was a zero! I was given a mild sedative & knew nothing. The procedure & the sedative was very brief. I never experienced any pain or discomfort, so I never took any meds. I too, had worried about this for 2 months....all for nothing. LOL

  • Well I survives my biopsy. The only part that hurt was when the numbed me deep inside. Ouch! Other than that it wasn't bad. I wonder if my dr was just a little rough since must of you had zero pain. Sigh. They did tell me that - at this point - I only have PBC and not AIH and I am in stage 2. Started URSO on Tuesday. Thank you everyone for sharing your experiences and giving me advice. It is nice to know I have people to talk to that understand what I'm going through.

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