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Image-guided biopsy

Using scans to help take tissue samples

Image-guided biopsies are an accurate way of diagnosing cancer, tumours and liver disease.

About

Your consultant might recommend that you have an image-guided biopsy if they suspect you have cancer, liver disease or if they want to investigate an abnormality further. By using an ultrasound or CT scanner, your consultant can precisely locate the tissue they want to take a sample of.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    In most cases you'll have your scan and biopsy on the same day — but not always. Once you've changed into your hospital gown, your radiologist will inject the area where the biopsy is being taken with local anaesthetic. They will then do an ultrasound or CT scan and use the images it produces to determine the best place to take the tissue sample from. To take the sample, your radiologist injects the biopsy needle into your body and removes a small amount of tissue. They may put a dressing over the affected area. The procedure usually takes about 30 minutes.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    As with all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. ​Your consultant will explain these to you and answer any questions you might have. We ask you not to eat for up to six hours before your scan, and not to drink water up to two hours before.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    You should be able to go home on the same day but depending on the type of biopsy you have, we might need to care for you for longer. Please arrange for someone to drive you home. It's best to rest at home for the next of couple of days, and to avoid any strenuous activity for the following week. You should be able to take your dressing off after 24 hours. As soon as we have your results, we'll let you know.

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.
Consultant in theatres

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • London Bridge Hospital

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street

    London

    SE1 2PR

    Appointments & Enquiries 020 7234 2009
    Imaging Appointments 020 7234 2773

  • The HSC exterior

    The Harley Street Clinic

    35 Weymouth Street

    London  W1G 8BJ

    Appointments 020 7935 7700
    General enquiries 020 7034 8181

  • The Lister Hospital

    Chelsea Bridge Road

    London

    SW1W 8RH

    Appointments 020 7730 8298
    General enquiries 020 7730 7733

  • The Christie Private Care

    Wilmslow Road

    Manchester M20 4BX

    General enquiries 0161 918 7296
    Existing patients 0161 918 7538
    Insurance & Pricing 0161 446 3480

  • The Princess Grace Hospital

    42-52 Nottingham Place

    London W1U 5NY

    Appointments 020 7908 8001
    General enquiries 020 7486 1234

  • The Wellington Hospital - South Building

    The Wellington Hospital

    Wellington Place

    London NW8 9LE

    Appointments 020 7483 5148
    General enquiries 020 7586 5959

  • Elstree facility

    The Wellington Hospital Elstree Waterfront

    The Waterfront Business Park

    Beaufort House, Elstree Road, Elstree WD6 3BS

    Call 020 3907 4500

  • MRI scans

    London Liver Centre

    4th Floor, Emblem House

    27 Tooley Street

    London SE1 2PR

    Appointments & enquiries 020 7234 2730

  • The Portland Hospital

    205 - 209 Great Portland Street

    London

    W1W 5AH

    Children's enquiries 020 7390 8020
    Maternity enquiries 020 7390 6068
    Gynaecology enquiries 020 7390 6200

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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