Radiology (Xray)

Lung Biopsy

Contact: Sister on Ward 51, RVI: (0191) 282 4052


Lung BiopsyShow [+]Hide [-]

Content - Please click on a question to go to answer

Introduction

Q1. What is a lung biopsy?

Q2. Why is a lung biopsy needed?

Q3. What will happen on the day?

Q4. What are the risks of a lung biopsy?

Q5. When will I get the results?

Q6. What happens when you go home?

Q7. What if I have any comments, suggestions or questions?

Introduction

The aim of this information is to let you know what to expect when you have a lung biopsy.

Q1. What is a lung biopsy?

  

A lung biopsy is a way of obtaining cells from the lungs, so that they can be looked at under the microscope.

 

Q2. Why is a lung biopsy needed?  

A lung biopsy may be needed to work out the cause of a shadow on a chest X-ray.

 

Sometimes cells from the shadow cannot be obtained from the inside through a bronchoscope, and it may be necessary to get them by putting in a needle from the outside through the skin.

 

Q3. What will happen on the day?

You will be admitted to one of the wards before the biopsy. You will be brought to the Radiology Department and will have the biopsy either in the CT scanner room, or in a special X-ray room.

 

In the X-ray room, you will be asked to lie on the table and a camera will move you, but not touch you.  

 

The biopsy is done under local anaesthetic, so you will have a small injection in your skin at the site for biopsy, but you will not be sedated. You will be asked to hold your breath while a very thin needle is put into your lung to take a small sample of cells. This may need to be done a few times to get enough cells.   After the biopsy you will have an X-ray and return to the ward for a few hours. You may be able to go home later in the day, but should bring an overnight bag with you in case you need to stay in hospital.

 

Q4. What are the risks of a lung biopsy?

Sometimes bleeding occurs after a lung biopsy and you may cough up some blood.

A serious amount of bleeding occurs only rarely.  When a needle is put through a lung, an air-leak may develop. If this is small, it may not cause you any problems. 

If a lot of air leaks out you may be short of breath and need a small tube in your chest to release any air that has leaked.   You will be monitored for a few hours after the biopsy on a ward. Tell the nursing staff if you have any problems after the biopsy.

 

Q5. When will I get the results?

Your biopsy results are not ready for at least 2 days and will be given to you in clinic.

 

Q6. What happens when you go home?

You will be discharged from hospital by a doctor after the biopsy, usually on the same day, but sometimes after a short hospital stay.

 

If you are worried about your condition before your procedure or following discharge you may contact Ward 51 staff on any of the telephone numbers (see top of page for details) 

 

Q7. What if I have any comments, suggestions or questions?

Should you have any worries or concerns, please make these known to the person conducting the procedure by contacting the appropriate hospital department either by the helpline telephone number or by letter addressed to the Department Manager, as below:

 

Royal Victoria Infirmary

The Departmental Manager

X-ray Department, Level 3

Royal Victoria Infirmary

Queen Victoria Road

Newcastle upon Tyne

NE1 4LP

Tel: (0191) 282 1099

 

Freeman Hospital

The Departmental Manager

Main X-ray Department

Freeman Hospital

High Heaton

Newcastle upon Tyne

NE7 7DN

 

Tel: (0191) 282 1099

 

Monday to Friday, 8.45am to 5.00pm

 

All Newcastle Hospitals: Switchboard Tel: (0191) 233 6161

 

If you need to turn to someone for on-the-spot help, advice and support, please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on:

Freephone 0800-032-02-02

Information produced by: Dr S Worthy, Clinical Directorate of Radiology

Reviewed: May 2008

Reviewed: April 2011

Next review date: April 2014

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