We use cookies to so our web site can function correctly. By Clicking "OK" or by clicking into any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more visit the cookies section of our privacy policy.

Privacy Statement

A cookie is a small file which asks permission to be placed on your computer's hard drive. Once you agree, the file is added and the cookie helps analyse web traffic or lets you know when you visit a particular site. Cookies allow web applications to respond to you as an individual. The web application can tailor its operations to your needs, likes and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences.

We use traffic log cookies to identify which pages are being used. This helps us analyse data about web page traffic and improve our website in order to tailor it to customer needs. We only use this information for statistical analysis purposes.

Overall, cookies help us provide you with a better website, by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us.

Cookie group mandatory

(Req)
These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms.
You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

These cookies are required

Functional

These cookies allow us to adtertise our products to you and allow us to pass this information on to our trusted third parties so that they can advertise our products to you on our behalf
All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. No personal inforation is shared to third parties. Any personal information collected while using our website could be used for direct marketing from HCA only

Marketing

These cookies allow us to advertise our products to you and allow us to pass this information on to our trusted third parties so that they can advertise our products to you on our behalf
All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. No personal inforation is shared to third parties. Any personal information collected while using our website could be used for direct marketing from HCA only

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site.  All information collect is annonomas unless you provide personal information to us.
If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.

Liver biopsy

A liver biopsy is a procedure where a small sample of tissue is removed from your liver, for study under a microscope.

About a biopsy of the liver

Your consultant may recommend a liver biopsy if blood tests or scans indicate you might have a liver condition. A liver biopsy can help determine the nature and severity of liver disease. On top of diagnosis, biopsy findings also help guide treatment decisions, and disease monitoring and management.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    Local anaesthetic is injected into skin and tissue over a part of your liver. A special hollow needle is pushed through the skin into your liver, and is quickly pushed in and out. The needle brings with it a small sample of liver tissue as it comes out.

    If you are at risk of bleeding, a different method is used. A catheter (a very thin, hollow tube) is inserted into a vein in your neck or groin, after local anaesthetic, and guided to the veins in your liver. A small needle at the catheter's tip makes a tiny hole in the vein and collects a sample of liver tissue retained in the catheter.

    You may feel only mild pressure as the needle is pushed.

  • How to prepare icon plus

    You will usually be asked to have a blood test done shortly before the biopsy, to check how well your blood will clot. This is a precautionary measure to ensure that you are not likely to bleed following the biopsy.

    You may also be advised not to take any medicines that could affect blood clotting, such as aspirin and blood thinning medication, for one week before the biopsy.

    Other medication that you have been prescribed should be taken as per normal before the biopsy. However, your consultant will discuss this with you prior to the procedure.

  • Afterwards icon plus

    You will need to lie on your side on a bed and be monitored for several hours to ensure that you have no bleeding. If the biopsy was done in the morning, you may be able to go home later in the day. Otherwise, you may need to remain overnight at the hospital.

    Complications from biopsies are uncommon. Pain, if any, is managed with painkillers. Avoid contact sports like rugby for a certain time in order to allow your liver to heal properly.

    Please seek medical advice if:

    • Bleeding occurs from the biopsy site
    • The biopsy site becomes red or swollen
    • You develop a fever
    • The biopsy site is still painful three days later and painkillers don't help.
Patient with consultant

Our consultants

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

Our facilities

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

  • Male-receptionist-greets-male-visitor

    London Digestive Centre

    41 Welbeck Street

    London

    W1G 8DU

    Call 020 7908 8001
    Opening hours Monday - Friday: 8am - 8pm

  • London Bridge Hospital

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street

    London

    SE1 2PR

    Appointments & Enquiries 0207 234 2009
    Imaging Appointments 0207 234 2773

  • facility-pgh-hero-579x579

    The Princess Grace Hospital

    42-52 Nottingham Place

    London W1U 5NY

    Appointments 0207 908 8001
    Enquiries 020 3130 6833

  • Platinum Medical Centre facility

    Platinum Medical Centre

    Platinum Medical Centre, 15 - 17 Lodge Road

    London

    NW8 7JA

    Call 020 7483 5148

  • MRI scans

    London Liver Centre

    London Liver Centre, 4th Floor, Emblem House

    27 Tooley Street

    London SE1 2PR

    Appointments & enquiries 020 7234 2730

Request an appointment

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

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
back to top