Lung Biopsy

What is a lung biopsy

This is a procedure whereby a small needle is inserted into your lung under CT guidance to collect a small amount of tissue. This is then examined by a pathologist for further assessment of possible diseases of your lung. Depending on the nature of the problem we may choose to collect a specimen using a fine-needle or perform a core-biopsy. This method the procedure of choice as it is the most minimally invasive way of obtaining information about the tissue.

As you may require sedation, you will be required to fast from food for six (6) hours prior to your procedure, however you can continue clear liquids up until 2 hours prior. It is important to contact us and let us know if you are taking any blood thinning medications or have an iodine allergy prior to the appointment.


On the day of your procedure you will be admitted to Day Stay under your private health insurance. You will need to present to admissions on Level 1 and our porters will bring you down from the ward on a bed.

The biopsy will only take about twenty (20) minutes to perform, but we will want to observe you following the biopsy for up to three (3) hours, so you may be at NSRNM for up to four (4) hours.  The duration of observation will depend on whether a fine-needle or core biopsy has been performed.

General observations will be taken by a nurse and a cannula will be inserted into a vein. You will be taken into our CT room and planning images will be obtained. After the radiologist has marked the skin, the skin will be cleaned, and then anaesthetised using local anaesthetic. The needle to collect the sample will be placed in position, and the specimen collected.


Once obtained, the specimen will be taken to Pathology where it will be examined and a report regarding your sample will be sent to your doctor. Following the biopsy you will be taken to our recovery area for observation.  Pain relief will be available if required.  You will be conscious throughout the procedure.

As there is some risk of bleeding and possibly some pain following this procedure we like to keep you for observation after the procedure in our observation area.  In this area nurses will care for you and give you medication for pain if required.  After discharge it is recommended that you undertake quiet activity for the next fourty-eight (48) hours. Before being sent home you may have a chest x-ray to check for a pneumothorax (leakage of air from the lung into the surrounding chest cavity).

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