Discharge Instructions for Liver Biopsy

You had a procedure called a liver biopsy. A healthcare provider used a special needle to remove a small piece of tissue from your liver. Then it was looked at for signs of damage or disease. A liver biopsy is ordered after other tests have shown that your liver is not working correctly. You may also have a liver biopsy when liver disease is suspected. This is to find out if your liver has too much iron. It can also be done to rule out cancer.

Home care

Follow your healthcare team's instructions. These may include:: 

  • Don't drive until your healthcare team says you can.  

  • Remove the bandage covering the biopsy site  24 to 48 hours after the procedure. Follow your provider's instructions.

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

  • Don’t shower until advised. This may be up to 24 hours after the biopsy. 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 soak in a bathtub until the incision is healed.

  • 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.

  • Ask your provider when it's safe to start taking aspirin or blood thinners if you take these medicines.

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

© 2000-2022 The StayWell Company, LLC. 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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