Liver Biopsy

I am new to this group and was just wondering if I could ask a question regarding a liver biopsy. I am only 21 and therefore scared at the proccess I am about to have next week, was just wondering if anyone else has had it done and could tell me about it?

Hey there!

I'm 24 -- I had a liver biopsy when I was 21 as well.

It was really simple from my perspective -- not the most comfortable thing, but it doesn't last long.

There were two individuals that did my procedure. I laid on a hospital bed on my back with my arms over my head. I don't remember for sure, but I think they then used a local to numb the entry point (above my stomach, below my ribs). Then they used an ultrasound machine to pinpoint exactly where to put the needle.

I took a deep breath in and held it while they put the needle it. It feels like it's a lot bigger than it actually is -- but the best way I can describe it is like sticking a small straw into a piece of meat and then pulling out the meat that was in the straw. It's definitely an odd feeling, but it's over as soon as you even process what it feels like. The entire procedure took maybe 10 minutes ... but the actual biopsy took less than 15 seconds I'd say.

I then had to lay on my back for 5 hours to make sure I didn't have any bleeding or anything that would cause a problem. I was discharged the same day. It hurts for a few days, but just take it easy and rest. I went back to work the next day and probably should've taken a few days off.

Hope this helps! You'll be fine!

Good luck! :)


Thank you very much for your reply. Has helped to put my mind at ease a little! I worry a lot about things which I’m guessing doesnt make things easier for myself. Did your biopsy show anything? Mine is being done to try and help asses what stage of psc I am at.

Hi there,

I am 24 years old and I had my first liver biopsy 4 weeks ago. The procedure itself was quite okay. But my problem was an extreme pain in my right shoulder which started immediately after they turned my on the right side. They said, that this sometimes happens because some nerves are connected from the liver ro the shoulder. I had to rest there for 4 hours. But the pain in my chest stayed for I few days. I also had trouble with breathing and of course the puncture side hurt. I don't want to scare you, this maybe was an exception. After a week my body felt like back to normal. But it was worth the pain, so now I know that I have PSC. But they didn't tell me the exact stage, so I will ask for it at the next appointment.

I wish you the best for you biopsy!

Hello! Well I guess my daughter (age 17) was lucky. They did her biopsies while she was put under for her appendix surgery. From her biopsies she was given the diagnosis of PSC. She had some pain for several days later in that area though. Whenever she took a deep breath it hurt. She has to have an MRCP done yet to look at the bile ducts.

Best to you. I'm sure it will all go well.


Thank you for the replies and well wishes, it really helps to hear other experiences! My psc was diagnosed through the mrcp scan alone so hoping the liver biopsy results match up. Have been told I will need to rest for a few days and will be sore just hoping I don’t suffer any other effects.

I had done mine it looked like a gun with a needle in it. It didn't hurt as much. I think the waiting 5 hours laying in a bed was more painfull than the needle.

My son had his liver biopsy last year when he was 12. The anticipation was scarey but the procedure itself was fine. He too had the complication of neck pain which he described like a spasm. It lasted several hours. The hardest part of the whole thing is lying still after for several hours. He had his IPod to listen to and we watched movies on my IPad to pass the time. Good luck to you, if you start feeling panicky just remember to breath and focus on a calming memory. You will get through this!

When I had mine done, they gave me a sedative. I can hardly remember what happened. I too had to stay on one side in bed for a few hours. Had zero pain during or after.

For me - same as Dangerous Lee. I had my first one back in 2009, another in late 2010, and another one scheduled for this summer. I was given a combo of fentyl (a pain killer), versed and benadryl. I don't remember anything and was sore on my side for a day or two and there is just a tiny scar (you really have to look hard to see it). Good luck and you'll be fine. And, of course, once you get the results back, feel free to share with the group if you have questions coming out of biopsy. Lots of great knowledge around here.

I have had a few liver biopsies over the past 6 years, using different methods. I am assuming at this point that you are having a liver biopsy by your hepatologist in his or her office, or possibly a procedure room in a hospital. This biopsy was probably the easiest one I ever had. You are awake because they need to ask you to stop breathing for a few seconds when the biopsy needle is inserted. It's important for you to be very still and they usually give you a medication to help you relax. The doctor will visualize the area with ultrasound before they retrieve the liver tissue to make sure they are only going into your liver and nowhere else. Honestly, the procedure itself is over in about 2 seconds. The preparation takes longer. Just breathe deeply to help relax yourself - this is key. If it helps you to look at the doctor as they do the biopsy, then look. If it doesn't help, look away and hold someone's hand with your left hand. Being relaxed makes everything easier - for you, the doctor - and better.

I didn't have to lie around for several hours. I was up and out of there in about half an hour. I guess I showed no signs of bleeding. And I didn't have any pain that I recall. Best of luck to you!

Good luck on your liver biopsy. I wish the best for you.

thank you so much everyone! I only signed up to the group yesterday and have had lots of support already! Will soon find out for myself I guess as the procedure is on thursday, thank you once again!!

biopsy dont hurt at all, the locals before hand are like beestings though

The responses are all very accurate sharpous6. Liver biopisies are done through the ribs on ur right side of course. It like a thump in ur side. Kind of like someone snapping u with their finger only a bigger finger.

The other way to do it is through your jugular vein and down through the heart, portal vein and liver. I have mine done this way now because I'm on blood thinners. I was very anxious about this but I prefer it to the side puncture. They give me some verset and the only thing I feel is the bee sting for the local skin anesthesia. It is also very quick surprisingly - it is CT guided. Prep is longer than biopsy. And I stay 2 or 3 hours after.

The liver refers to the right shoulder and neck and upper back. When I had a tumor in liver I couldn't get rid of the pain in my right back and shoulder. This is how I knew something was wrong.



My son had a biopsy last year - he was 15 at the time. He had no problems with it. He had to lay still for 4 hours after the procedure and he slept for most of them. He still talks about the AWESOME chicken salad sandwich they fed him at the hospital. He went back to school the next day with no restrictions. Good luck to you on Thursday!


I don't know if I caught your name.

The liver biopsy was scary AND THEN when it happened, it was NOTHING. It was at the hospital. I checked into a room and it was in that room that I had the procedure done. My transplant HEP rolled in the ultrasound machine. I didn't really feel the needle. I had read that it was horrible and others said no biggy. I didn't think it was a big deal at all. I had to wait around awhile to see if there was bleeding and watched TV. It was a breeze.

Good Luck: mona

PSC/Crohn's and loving life.


My experience with a needle biopsy of the liver was similar to those described by the other respondants, but I had mine done with local anesthetic plus versed, a valium like drug, which blocked the pain and took away the memory completely. I didn't have to lie still for 5 hours, and the only after effects came with the Versed- I had some wooziness the next day. Maybe you might want to ask your doctor about it. Good luck!

LOL looks like we have all had one!!!! Pretty much the same as everyone else has said, it hurt a bit because they didn't put in enough local (Family history) They put the needle in twice for me and took two samples from two different places. Stay calm, try going to your "happy place" during the procedure and you should be fine. You get to stay for a few hours so take something to do I took a book and a PSP with me, it gives you something else to concentrate on while you are waiting. And I hope everything works out well for you. :)

Sharpous, just like everyone else has been saying, the build-up to it is kinda nerve-wracking, but the biopsy itself isn’t a huge deal. I had my biopsy at a teaching hospital, so it was a full house in the procedure room with about 10 students observing. Anf just like some others have said, youll have to lie still for 5 hours after, so bring a book or something to keep yourself occupied.