Dr Mark Kennedy - Private Internal Medicine Specialist
The best way to establish what type of liver disease is present and the extent and stage of the disease, is with a liver biopsy.
Before Dr Kennedy does this procedure, he will check whether or not you are at increased risk of bleeding by requesting clotting blood tests. Aspirin, Clopidogrel, Ticagrelor, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, Warfarin, Dabigatran, omega-3 and other blood thinners will need to be withheld for up to 1 week prior to the liver biopsy.
After ultrasound marking, good local anaesthesia and analgesia, the biopsy is performed by inserting a skinny needle into the liver through the skin, and taking a small sample of liver tissue. Examination of the liver biopsy sample under the microscope can demonstrate the presence of inflammation, and the degree of fibrosis or cirrhosis (scarring) and often what type of underlying liver disease is present.
After the procedure:
Following the procedure, you will need to be monitored for four hours before you are able to be discharged to go home. Paracetamol can be used as analgesia.
You will be seen in the clinic a week after the biopsy to review the results and discuss the management plan.
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This page was last updated at 11:19AM on May 13, 2019.