Liver biopsies are done in a treatment room, in radiology or in the operating room. The doctor or nurses will tell you where the biopsy will take place before it is scheduled.
Your child will get general anesthesia before the liver biopsy begins. There are two different ways to give the anesthesia:
- The medication is given through an IV.
- The child may breathe gas through a mask.
Anesthesia will help your child fall asleep quickly. Once your child is asleep, the airway is kept open with a breathing tube. Your child will never be alone and is watched closely during the liver biopsy. After your child is sedated, the doctor will perform the biopsy.
- The biopsy site is identified by the doctor on your child’s belly or right side, and is cleaned with an antibacterial soap.
- Numbing medicine is given at the biopsy site.
- Once the area is numb, the doctor will insert a needle through the skin and into the liver.
- A very small piece of liver tissue is taken.
- A small "pressure" dressing is put over the site.
- Your child should recover quickly from anesthesia.