Disease - Conditions

Liver Biopsy

In a liver biopsy a sample of liver tissue is taken and analyzed to help doctors diagnose a variety of disorders and diseases in the liver. Most commonly, it is done to identify the cause of:

  •     Persistent abnormal liver blood tests (liver enzymes)
  •     Unexplained yellowing of the skin (jaundice)
  •     A liver abnormality found on ultrasound, CT scan, or nuclear scan
  •     Unexplained enlargement of the liver

Click to learn more about liver biopsies.

Liver Biopsy Procedure Instructions

Download Procedure Instructions

Preparation

  • You MUST arrange for a responsible adult (over 18) who can drive or otherwise accompany you to and from the endoscopy unit. Your procedure cannot begin until a responsible adult driver is in the unit. This person should remain in the unit during your entire visit so that they are available as soon as you are ready to be discharged. You will not be discharged unless this person is in the unit.
  • Inform your doctor of all medications you are taking.

2 Weeks Before Procedure

Do not take aspirin, Plavix or nonsteroidal  anti-inflammatory drugs (Motrin, Advil, ibuprofen, Aleve, etc) for 2 weeks prior to the procedure.

1 Week Before Procedure

  • Do not take aspirin, products containing aspirin, or anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, Naprosyn, or Indocin) 7 days prior to your procedure unless otherwise advised by your doctor. Do not discontinue any medication without first consulting with your primary or prescribing doctor.
  • If you take Coumadin, stop taking Coumadin 5 days prior to your procedure. Do not discontinue any medication without first consulting with your primary or prescribing doctor.

Day of Procedure

  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the day before your procedure.
  • Bring a list of your medications, MGH identification card (blue card), and the name and phone number of your escort.
  • If you are diabetic and take insulin, take only ½ of your usual dose in the morning of your procedure.