Skip to main content

Laparoscopic Liver Biopsy

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 5, 2023.

What do I need to know about a laparoscopic liver biopsy?

A laparoscopic liver biopsy is surgery to remove a sample of tissue from your liver. The sample can be sent to a lab and tested for liver disease, cancer, or infection.

Abdominal Organs

How do I prepare for a laparoscopic liver biopsy?

  • Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for your surgery. You may need to have your blood tested before surgery. A blood test can check how well your blood clots. Your blood needs to clot correctly to prevent heavy bleeding during surgery.
  • The provider may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. He or she will tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery. You may need to stop taking blood thinners, NSAIDs, or aspirin several days before surgery. You may be given an antibiotic before surgery to help prevent a bacterial infection. Tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic.
  • Arrange for someone to drive you home and stay with you after surgery. This person can help you around the house and watch you for any problems.

What will happen during a laparoscopic liver biopsy?

  • You will be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Your healthcare provider will make an incision in your abdomen and insert a laparoscope. A laparoscope is a long metal tube with a light and camera on the end. Your healthcare provider will also insert other tools through 2 to 3 smaller incisions made at different places on your abdomen.
    Laparoscopic Surgery
  • Your abdomen will then be inflated with a gas (carbon dioxide). This lifts your abdomen away from your organs and gives your healthcare provider more space to work. He or she will use the tools to remove 1 or more samples of tissue from your liver. Your healthcare provider will close your incisions with glue or steristrips and cover them with a bandage.

What will happen after a laparoscopic liver biopsy?

Healthcare providers will monitor you for problems such as bleeding. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. You may be able to go home the same day, or you may need to spend a night in the hospital. You may have pain in your abdomen or right shoulder. These symptoms should get better in 48 to 72 hours.

What are the risks of a laparoscopic liver biopsy?

You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Biopsy tools may cause a hole in your liver. This may cause blood or bile to leak into your abdomen. You may need other treatments to fix these problems.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© Copyright Merative 2022 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.