Liver biopsies can be helpful diagnostic tools when attempting to fully diagnose a variety of gastrointestinal diseases. But when is a liver biopsy helpful or necessary in the course of treatment? This article is all about liver biopsies. We’ll talk about the procedure itself, and when it can be useful in identifying and treating GI conditions.
The Liver Biopsy
First off, let’s talk briefly about the liver biopsy procedure itself. A liver biopsy is a simple diagnostic surgical procedure in which a small tissue sample is taken from the patient’s liver for further examination and testing. There are three types of liver biopsy procedures:
- Percutaneous Biopsy. This is the most common type of liver biopsy. During the procedure a hollow needle is inserted into the liver through the abdomen to remove the sample.
- Transvenous Biopsy. In this procedure, the surgeon makes a tiny incision in the neck, and inserts a sheath through the jugular vein to access the liver.
- Laparoscopic Biopsy. This procedure involves the use of a laparoscope – a tiny tube with a camera – in order to view the surface of the liver as well as extract a sample.
When to Consider a Liver Biopsy
A liver biopsy can be incredibly useful when trying to diagnose a patient’s condition. Here are a few of the GI symptoms that a liver biopsy can help get to the bottom of:
- Enlargement of the liver
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin)
- Liver enzymes (abnormal liver blood tests)
- An abnormality of the liver as detected by a CT scan, ultrasound, or other imaging tool
Gastroenterology Clinics in Minnesota
As one of Minnesota’s premier gastroenterologists, Dr. Bhatti has over twenty years of experience treating patients throughout the state and has performed more than 40,000 advanced GI procedures. At Bhatti GI, we do our best to provide compassionate, unparalleled care to each and every patient who walks through our doors. Contact us today to set up your appointment with Dr. Bhatti. Our primary GI clinics are located in Edina and Chaska, but we serve patients throughout the Twin Cities metro area.