Liver Biopsy

Liver biopsy is a special test that involves obtaining a small sample of the liver tissue to review it under the microscope. 
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After you are asleep, a small needle is advanced into the liver under ultrasound guidance. Small tissue samples — the size of few pinheads are collected. A pathology laboratory will use these samples to help with diagnosis

Some reasons why you may need a liver biopsy:
  • Liver-related jaundice (elevated bilirubin)
  • Liver inflammation (hepatitis)
  • Abnormal liver-related blood tests
  • An enlarged liver
  • Possible rejection or infection in a transplanted liver

What happens before and after the test?

Before the test, certain medications (including aspirin or ibuprofen) which increase bleeding risk, may need to be stopped. On the morning of the test, you are not supposed to eat or drink anything as this can cause problems with the medicines used to help you sleep during the test. Please ask your doctor whether you should to stop taking any current medications in advance before the test.

After the test, you will be observed and monitored closely until it’s safe to go home. The time of discharge differs according to the age and health of the child and the reason for the biopsy, but is usually between 6 and 24 hours. Once you are drinking well, you can start eating again and go home. A few people feel sick after the test and may be watched a little longer until they feel better.

After the test, if you have any of these symptoms, call your doctor or go to the Emergency Department:
  • Abdominal pain or chest pain that does not go away or gets worse
  • Vomiting
  • Pale skin, weakness or dizziness
  • Bleeding from the site of the biopsy
  • Passage of tarry or black stools
  • Fever
  • Redness, tenderness and/or swelling at the biopsy site
  • Difficulty breathing

Our Approach

The Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition specialists at University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital brings help and hope to pediatric patients. We’re saving lives through innovation— leading the nation in developing new treatment methods for kids of all ages. For the 11th consecutive year, University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital has earned a spot among the best children’s hospitals in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.

We provide outstanding care for advanced GI and Liver diseases, including treatment of liver failure, liver transplant, total pancreatectomy with auto islet cells transplant.

Why parents choose us?

We offer:
  • A dedicated team of 8 Pediatric Gastroenterologists, and 1 Advanced Practice Provider Private hospital rooms to reduce infections and other complications
  • High-level academic research and skilled practitioners in all pediatric subspecialties Platinum Level ECMO Center of Excellence
  • State-of-the-science liver transplantation
  • Largest and most experienced pediatric total pancreatectomy, islet autotransplantation program in the world
  • Innovation to provide the best possible care to children
Research and innovation

Our pediatric gastroenterology and hepatology team currently conducts clinical and epidemiologic studies in:
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases in children, including newly developed treatment modalities, quality improvement studies and epidemiological studies
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Chronic hepatitis B
  • Pediatric nutrition
  • Gastrointestinal, liver, and nutritional complications of pediatric cystic fibrosis

Locations that offer this treatment

Call your preferred location to schedule an appointment or submit an online request.