Procedures: Lung needle biopsy
Lung needle biopsy
A lung needle biopsy is a method to remove a piece of lung tissue for examination.
Transthoracic needle aspiration; Percutaneous needle aspiration
How the Test is Performed
A chest x-ray or chest CT scan may be used to locate the precise spot of the biopsy. If the biopsy is done using a CT scan, you may be lying down during the exam.
You sit with your arms resting forward on a table. You should try to keep still and not cough during the biopsy. The skin is scrubbed and a local anesthetic is injected.
The surgeon will make a small (about 1/8-inch) cut in the skin, and will insert the biopsy needle into the abnormal tissue, tumor, or lung tissue. A small piece of tissue is removed with the needle and sent to a laboratory for examination.
When done, pressure is placed over the site. Once bleeding has stopped, a bandage is applied.
A chest x-ray is taken immediately after the biopsy.
The procedure usually takes 30 to 60 minutes. Laboratory analysis usually takes a few days.
How to Prepare for the Test
Before a needle biopsy of the lung is conducted, a chest x-ray, chest CT scan, or bronchoscopy may be performed. Sometimes, you will be given a mild sedative before the biopsy. You must sign a consent form. It is important to remain as still as possible for the biopsy and to avoid coughing.
How the Test Will Feel
A lung needle biopsy is preceded by a local injection of anesthetic, which will sting for a moment. You will feel pressure and a brief, sharp pain when the needle touches the lung.
Why the Test is Performed
A needle lung biopsy is performed when there is an abnormal condition that is near the surface of the lung, in the lung itself, or on the chest wall. The test is usually performed to diagnose relatively large abnormalities seen on chest x-ray or CT scan. Most often, the abnormality is not believed to be accessible by other diagnostic techniques, such as bronchoscopy.
Normal tissues and no microbial growth, if a culture is performed, are normal.
What Abnormal Results Mean
Additional conditions under which the test may be performed:
The risks include a collapsed lung, bleeding, and infection.
A needle biopsy should NOT be performed if other tests show that you have:
Signs of a collapsed lung include:
If any of these occur, report them to the health care provider immediately.