Liver Biopsy

Understanding Liver Biopsy

A liver biopsy is a procedure in which a small needle is inserted into the liver to collect a tissue sample.

The tissue is then analyzed in a laboratory to help doctors diagnose a variety of disorders and diseases in the liver.

A liver biopsy is most often performed to help identify the cause of:

  • Persistent abnormal blood tests of liver function
  • Unexplained yellowing of the skin (jaundice)
  • An abnormality of the liver found on ultrasound, CT scan, or nuclear scan
  • Unexplained enlargement of the liver


Is liver biopsy safe?

In most instances there are no complications in obtaining a liver biopsy. However, internal bleeding may sometimes occur, as well as a leak of bile from the liver or gallbladder.



The preceding information is intended only to provide general information and not as a definitive basis for diagnosis or treatment in any particular case. It is very important that you consult your doctor about your specific condition.