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CT/US Guided Biopsies

What is a CT Guided Biopsy?

A radiologist performs this procedure to obtain a small tissue sample through a needle. This is done to make a diagnosis and plan future management. A CT scan is used to guide the needle into the lesion in the safest possible manner. This is a minimally invasive procedure and is an alternative to an open surgical biopsy. CT guidance generally results in fewer complications, a faster recovery time, and the avoidance of general anesthesia.

How Does a Patient Prepare for a CT Guided Biopsy?

If you are taking blood-thinning medication, e.g., Coumadin or you are taking anti-diabetic medication, e.g., Glucophage (Metformin), don’t hesitate to get in touch with ImageCare Interventional radiology at 973-810-8100 to report either of these conditions.

If you are allergic to contrast, please call the above-mentioned numbers to report this condition.

You should have your last meal before midnight on the day of the procedure. If you take blood pressure medication, please take it as scheduled with a sip of water.

What to Expect

Before your procedure, you will be prepared in the holding area, changing into a gown, and an IV will be placed. Through the IV, you may receive sedation and pain medications that will keep you relaxed and comfortable. You will be taken to the CT scanner, where a needle is inserted into the lesion, and several biopsy samples are taken.

On average, CT-guided biopsies last 45 minutes to an hour. This time varies according to the location of the lesion. Please be aware that this time does not include your time in the holding area before and after the procedure. Overall, the duration of your procedure may be several hours. Please arrange for someone to be available to drive you home.

Procedure Complications

The procedure is relatively simple and safe, and every attempt is made to avoid complications. However, there are associated risks. These include bleeding, injury to a nerve, infection, and allergic reaction to contrast or medication.

After Treatment Care

Pain resulting from the procedure usually resolves within a few days. Regular activity can typically be resumed the day following the procedure.

The tissue sample typically takes several days to determine the diagnosis. The results of the biopsy were obtained from your primary physician.


Ultrasound Guided Biopsies 

An ultrasound-guided needle biopsy is a medical test to learn more about a lesion or mass. The biopsy is done using an ultrasound to find the lesion or mass. This “image-guided” biopsy combines ultrasound with fine needle aspiration or a core biopsy.

How do I prepare for an ultrasound-guided needle biopsy?

No preparation is needed for this test. However, if you are on blood thinners or take aspirin, your provider may ask you to stop taking them for a few days before the test. Your provider will give you instructions on this.

How is this test done?

Local anesthesia, such as lidocaine (numbing medication), will numb the area. An ultrasound is done to find the test area and guide the needle into the mass or lesion. The needle removes tissue for testing. The needle insertion and removal take a few minutes, but the procedure takes about 30 minutes.

What to expect after the test?

As the numbing medication wears off, you may have some discomfort. You may have bruising, swelling, or minor bleeding at the biopsy site.

Sometimes, a pocket of blood or a hematoma will be collected at the biopsy site. This can be uncomfortable but should get better over the next few days. If there is severe pain, you should call your provider right away.

How do you receive the results of your ultrasound-guided needle biopsy?

The tissue sample is reviewed by a pathologist, and a report is written. The report will give your provider information about standard and not normal findings. Your provider will discuss your results with you.