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Needle Biopsy

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 5, 2024.

What do I need to know about a needle biopsy?

Biopsies may be taken from anywhere in your body. Examples include an organ such as your liver or lung, a muscle, or skin. The tissue can be sent to the lab and tested for cancer or infection. If you have had an organ transplant, tissue from the organ can be tested for organ rejection. There are 2 types of needle biopsies. A fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy removes a small sample of cells, tissue, or fluid from a tumor. An FNA uses a thin needle. A core needle biopsy removes a larger amount of tissue from the tumor. This type of biopsy uses a wider needle.

How do I prepare for a needle biopsy?

What will happen during a needle biopsy?

What will happen after a needle biopsy?

Healthcare providers will monitor you until you are awake. You may be sore or have bruising or swelling for a few days. Do not breastfeed for 24 to 48 hours if you received contrast liquid. The contrast liquid may harm your baby. You may go home after your procedure or you may need to spend a night in the hospital.

What are the risks of a needle biopsy?

You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. A pocket of blood or fluid may form under your skin. You may need surgery to drain or remove it. The biopsy needle may damage other organs or tissues.

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.

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Further information

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