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Discharge Instructions for Liver Biopsy

You had a procedure called liver biopsy. A healthcare provider used a special needle to remove a small piece of tissue from your liver. Then it was examined for signs of damage or disease. A liver biopsy is ordered after other tests have shown that your liver is not working properly. You may also have a liver biopsy when liver disease is suspected, to determine whether there is too much iron in the liver, or to rule out cancer.

Home care

Recommendations include the following: 

  • Because you had anesthesia, you should not drive until the day after your biopsy. 

  • Remove the bandage covering the biopsy site  48 hours after the procedure.

  • Rest for 6 hours and take it easy when you arrive home.

  • Don’t shower for  24 hours after the biopsy. If you wish, you may wash yourself with a sponge or washcloth. When you are able to shower, don’t scrub the site. Gently wash the area and pat it dry.

  • Don’t lift anything heavier than  10 pounds for up to 1 week after the procedure, or as advised by your healthcare provider.

  • Don't do strenuous activities or exercises for up to 1 week after the procedure.

  • Ask your healthcare provider when you can return to work.

  • Don't start taking blood thinners without clear instructions from your healthcare provider.

Follow-up care

Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider immediately if you have any of the following:

  • Bleeding from the biopsy site

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

  • Sudden or increased shortness of breath

  • Sudden chest pain

  • Fever of  100.4°F ( 38.0°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Shaking chills

  • Yellow eyes or skin

  • Increasing redness, tenderness, or swelling at the biopsy site

  • Drainage from the biopsy site

  • Opening of the biopsy site

  • Vomiting blood

  • Rectal bleeding or bloody stools

  • Increasing pain, with or without activity, in the liver or belly area, or pain shooting to the right shoulder

Online Medical Reviewer: Jen Lehrer MD
Online Medical Reviewer: L Renee Watson MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Date Last Reviewed: 6/1/2019
© 2000-2019 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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