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Ultrasound-Guided Biopsy: Types of Ultrasound-Guided Biopsies

Preparation
Scheduling and Directions

 

Ultrasound-Guided Biopsy

DeKalb Medical offers ultrasound-guided biopsy which involves the removal of cells from a suspicious area within the body using a thin needle and hollow tube called a syringe. During ultrasound-guided biopsy, the physician passes a needle through the syringe into the area or organ being examined and uses it to remove the tissue or fluid sample. Ultrasound is used by the physician to guide the needle to the appropriate area. The sample of tissue or fluid then is evaluated in the laboratory to determine your diagnosis.

Biopsies can be performed using surgery if the suspicious area is near the skin’s surface or can be removed during surgery. If the suspected tumor is deeper in the body and cannot be seen or felt by the physician, he or she may decide to perform an ultrasound-guided biopsy.

The main advantage of an ultrasound-guided biopsy is that it does not require an incision, although there is a disadvantage in some cases when the needle may not be able to remove enough tissue for analysis.

Types of Ultrasound-Guided Biopsies

DeKalb Medical offers several types of ultrasound-guided biopsies. The most common ultrasound-guided biopsies performed at DeKalb Medical are liver, thyroid, prostate and breast.

Liver Biopsy

An ultrasound-guided biopsy of the liver involves taking a sample of tissue from the liver for examination and is used to help diagnose many liver diseases. These types of ultrasound-guided biopsies are usually done to evaluate the extent of liver damage due to disease or toxic injury.

The procedure helps assess the stage (early, advanced) of liver disease and is especially important in hepatitis C infection because it may be used to assess the patient’s prognosis and the likelihood of responding to antiviral treatment. Liver biopsy also can help detect:

  • Cancer
  • Infections
  • The cause of abnormal levels of liver enzymes that have been found in blood tests
  • The cause of an unexplained liver enlargement
  • Abnormalities in liver tissues after other techniques have failed to yield clear results

Thyroid Biopsy

Among the types of ultrasound-guided biopsies performed at DeKalb Medical is a thyroid biopsy. An ultrasound-guided biopsy of the thyroid removes small pieces of thyroid tissue for microscopic examination. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland at the base of the neck and in front of the trachea (windpipe). It produces thyroxine, a hormone that plays a very crucial role in regulating the body’s metabolism and controlling several vital functions, such as the heart beat, blood pressure and body temperature. The thyroid also regulates childhood growth and development.

A thyroid biopsy is usually ordered when a painless lump or a nodule is detected, either by the patient or by a doctor during a routine physical examination to determine the cause of the mass, growth or tumor in the thyroid gland. A biopsy is the only test that can accurately determine whether the lump is non-cancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant).

Prostate Biopsy

One of DeKalb Medical’s types of ultrasound-guided biopsies using the newest medical imaging technologies is an ultrasound probe for diagnostic testing of prostate disease. Ultrasound-guided biopsy of the prostate is a procedure that involves removing a small piece of prostate tissue for microscopic examination. One of the three male sex glands, the prostate gland lies just below the urinary bladder, in the area behind the penis and in front of the rectum. It secretes semen, the liquid portion of the ejaculate.

The urethra carries the urine from the urinary bladder and the semen from the sex glands to the outside of the body.

Ultrasound-guided biopsy of the prostate is performed by inserting a needle through the perineum (the area between the base of the penis and the rectum). Before the procedure is performed, the patient may be given a local anesthesia or sedative to help him relax.

Breast Biopsy

An ultrasound-guided biopsy of the breast involves removal of a sample of suspicious breast tissue for examination by a pathologist. This can be accomplished by withdrawing tissue through a needle.Ultrasound is used to guide needle placement for most lesions. The patient lies on her back or side. After the area is numbed, sterile gel is applied. The physician places a transducer, an instrument about the size of an electric shaver, over the skin. This produces an image from the reflection of sound waves. A special needle, either in a spring loaded or vacuum-assisted device, is used to obtain the tissue. The procedure is observed on a monitor as it is happening.

Ultrasound is used to guide needle placement for most lesions. The patient lies on her back or side. After the area is numbed, sterile gel is applied. The physician places a transducer, an instrument about the size of an electric shaver, over the skin. This produces an image from the reflection of sound waves. A special needle, either in a spring loaded or vacuum-assisted device, is used to obtain the tissue. The procedure is observed on a monitor as it is happening.

Preparation

Preparing for your Ultrasound-Guided Biopsy

Ultrasound-guided biopsy usually is done on an outpatient basis and in most cases you should plan to have someone drive you home after your biopsy. Be sure to ask your physician about any medications you are taking or any questions your might have about your biopsy.

Use these preparation and care instructions as a guide. After your specific biopsy, your nurse will give you any after-care instructions including any restrictions on activities. A detailed report from the radiologist and the lab will be sent to your physician, who will share the results with you.

Liver Biopsy Preparation and Care

Avoid taking any aspirin and ibuprofen for at least a week before your biopsy. Your physician will check your records for any other medications that may affect blood clotting. Two tests, a platelet count and a prothrombin time to assess how well your blood clots, are performed prior to your biopsy to determine whether there is an abnormally high risk of uncontrolled bleeding from the biopsy site. Limit food or drink for four to eight hours before your procedure.

After your liver biopsy, you will be asked to lie on your right side for one hour and then to rest quietly for three more hours. Your nurse will regularly check your vital signs. If there are no complications, you will be discharged but asked to stay within an hour’s travel distance from DeKalb Medical in case you have delayed bleeding.

Bed rest for a day is recommended, followed by a week of avoiding heavy work or strenuous exercise. You can immediately resume eating a normal diet. You can expect some mild soreness in the biopsy area after the anesthetic wears off.

Thyroid Biopsy Preparation and Care

Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your test. Do not take any blood thinners or aspirin three days prior to your biopsy.

The needle used in fine needle aspiration is thin and the whole procedure feels like a quick injection. You should have no pain or tenderness at the site after the biopsy. In large needle biopsy, a stinging needle prick may be felt when the local anesthetic is injected. The site may be sore for a few hours and tender for a day or two after the test. You may resume your normal activities.

Prostate Biopsy Preparation and Care

Do not take any blood thinners and aspirin three days prior to your biopsy. Complete one Fleet enema one hour before your biopsy.

If you notice any signs of infection or experience any blood clotting after your biopsy, notify your doctor.

Breast Biopsy Preparation and Care

Do not take blood thinners or aspirin three days prior to your biopsy. If possible, wear a sport bra and loose fitting top to your procedure.

If you notice any signs of infection after your biopsy, notify your physician.

Scheduling and Directions

Your physician will contact DeKalb Medical to schedule all ultrasound-guided biopsy tests for you.

If your biopsy is at DeKalb Medical at North Decatur, go to the hospital’s central registration area.

  • From North Decatur Road, enter the hospital campus via Wash Lively Road.
  • At road end, turn right. (Note: If you are in a wheelchair or need to be dropped off at the entrance, turn left and proceed to the Central Registration patient drop-off which is on the right just past the main hospital entrance. Your driver should then turn around and continue to the Visitor/Patient parking deck.)
  • At stop sign, turn left and park in the Visitor/Patient parking deck.
  • Take any elevator or stairs to the 3rd level.
  • Proceed to the Pedestrian Bridge to the hospital.
  • Take bridge straight ahead to the escalators.
  • Take escalators down one level.
  • Once off escalators, turn right and immediately left and follow the directions to the hospital main lobby.
  • Proceed past the hospital Gift Shop on your right.
  • Once in the main lobby, follow the hallway to Central Registration.
  • At the end of hallway, turn left.
  • Central Registration is on the right.

If you biopsy is in the Diagnostic Breast Center, you need to go to the 2665 Professional Building on the North Decatur Road campus.

  • From North Decatur Road, enter the hospital campus via Wash Lively Road.
  • At road end, turn right.
  • At stop sign, turn left and park in the Visitor/Patient parking deck.
  • Use the “A” or “E” elevator or take the stairs to Level 1.
  • Cross the street and proceed to the front entrance of the 2665 Professional Building.
  • Upon entering the building you will see the Diagnostic Breast Center entrance on the left.

If your biopsy is being performed at DeKalb Medical at Hillandale, go to the hospital’s registration area.

  • Park in the hospital parking lot.Proceed to the main entrance of the hospital.
  • Registration is directly on the right – you must register before proceeding to the Imaging Department.
  • When you have completed registration, a staff member will direct you to the Imaging Department for your biopsy.
2701 North Decatur Road Decatur, GA 30033
404.501.1000
Patient Inquiries: 404.501.5200

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