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Your doctor has scheduled a biopsy to be done on ___________. Please report to Radiology (G3/3) on the 3rd floor at ________. Before the biopsy, our doctors will explain what will happen, answer any questions and ask you to sign a consent form.

Biopsy Done by Ultrasound

A biopsy removes a small tissue sample from the area of concern. The procedure is guided by ultrasound. Ultrasound looks at deep structures by making an image from the sound waves which reflect back from the tissues. No radiation or “x-ray” is used.

How to Prepare for the Biopsy

You will start in our prep room. We start an IV and take your blood pressure, pulse, respirations, and temperature. This makes sure you are safe to have the biopsy and can be given sedation.

You may have lab tests done on the day of the test. We may draw blood for a platelet count and INR. This will be done when your IV is started.

Please tell us if you take blood thinners such as Coumadin® (warfarin), Heparin, Plavix®, Pradaxa®, ibuprofen, naproxen, low molecular heparin injections (Fragmin® or Lovenox®) or daily aspirin. Someone from ultrasound will call your doctor and let you know when you should stop taking the medicine and when you should start again.

If you have diabetes, please call your doctor to discuss how your medicine doses should change before this procedure. 

Test your blood sugar more often when you can’t eat as well as before the procedure. If your blood sugar level is low (less than 70 mg/dl) or you have symptoms, eat some glucose tablets or drink 4 ounces of a clear liquid with sugar. Always recheck your blood sugar level to make sure it stays above 70. 

We may still be able to do the procedure unless you need to eat solid food to keep your blood sugar at a normal level. If the blood sugar ever gets too high or too low and you can’t bring it back to normal, call your local doctor or diabetes doctor.

Stop eating 6 hours _________ before the procedure. You may drink clear liquids until 2 hours __________ before the procedure. This includes black coffee, tea, water, and juices without pulp that you can see through.

You are awake for the procedure. You may be given midazolam and fentanyl medicines in your IV to help mildly sedate you. Please let the nurse know if you have sleep apnea. If you have a CPAP machine, you may bring it to the hospital with you so it can be used during the procedure. 

Plan to have someone drive you home since you may be given sedation medicine. You should not drive or make important personal or business decisions until the next day. 

During the Biopsy

Be sure to tell the radiologists if you have any allergies (medicines, antibiotics, anesthetic agents, etc.).

After a review of your x-rays, the radiologist uses an ultrasound and marks an area that will show the best place to insert the needle. This area is cleaned. The skin around the site is numbed so you will have little pain. Most patients feel pressure, but not major pain.

Under ultrasound, the tissue sample is taken out using a special needle. One to three samples may be taken. The tissue sample is then sent for exam under the microscope.

After the Biopsy

A bandage is put on the puncture site where the tissue sample was taken. You remain in bed for about 2 hours. During this time, you can get up to use the bathroom but you should call the nurse for help. You may have a higher risk for falling if you were sedated. Your pulse, blood pressure and biopsy site will be checked often. After about two hours, you can go home if there are no problems.

After the local anesthetic wears off, you may feel some pain at the site. Your pain should not be severe, but you may feel somewhat sore. If you have pain, use Tylenol® up to 3 times daily. You may talk to the doctor or nurse if you have questions about the dose. The pain should go away within the 24 hours.

You are not able to eat or drink for 1 hour after the biopsy procedure.

Tell the nurse if you have new pain, nausea, vomiting, or chills.

Your Care at Home

You may eat or drink what you like once you arrive home. Do not drink alcohol for the first 24 hours.

Rest and take it easy for the first 24 hours. Do not lift greater than 10 pounds. Resume your normal routine after 24 hours.

You may remove the bandage over the site the next morning.

You may shower after 24 hours.

When to Call 

Call if you have any other questions or concerns, or if:

  • You have more than a teaspoon of bleeding at the site.

  • You feel dizzy, faint, or light-headed.

  • Your pain around the site gets worse rather than better 2-3 days later.

  • You are not feeling well and have a fever over 100.4°F (38°C).


Who to Call

During the day (7:30 am – 4:30 pm) call Ultrasound at: 608-262-5279 or the nurse at: 608-261-5634. 

The toll-free number is: 1-800-323-8942. Ask for Ultrasound. 

Evenings and weekends call your local doctor or go to your local ER.

Your doctor will discuss the results with you when they are ready.