CT-Guided Soft-Tissue Biopsy

Your doctor has requested a CT-guided soft-tissue biopsy. The CT scanner uses x-rays and advanced computer programs to create detailed images inside your body. This is a minimally-invasive procedure that can usually be done without an overnight stay in the hospital. During a biopsy, one of our physicians will use images generated by a CT scanner (also called a Cat scan) to accurately insert a needle into the suspect tissue, allowing a sample to be removed for testing. Our team of expert musculoskeletal physicians, nurses and technologists is led by Thomas J. Learch, MD, chief of Musculoskeletal Radiology.

Before Arriving for Your Procedure
  • A soft-tissue biopsy usually involves moderate sedation, which requires no special preparations.
  • You will need to wear a hospital gown for this procedure, so please wear comfortable clothing that you can change easily.
  • You will not be allowed to drive the day of this procedure, so please arrange for someone to drive you home.
  • You should expect to be at the imaging center for approximately 6 hours, longer if blood tests are needed.
  • If your doctor gave you an order, please bring it with you.
After Arriving
  • A radiology nurse or technologist will ask you a few questions regarding your medical history, they will also do a few simple tests such as taking your blood pressure.
  • Please inform the technologist, radiology nurse and/or physician of any allergies you may have before your exam.
  • An imaging physician will discuss this procedure with you in detail and answer any questions you may have.
During Your Procedure
  • You will be asked to lie down on the scanner table.
  • You will be given a local anesthetic. This will only numb the area around the site of the procedure. You will remain fully awake.
  • The table you are on will slide into the scanner. This process usually includes multiple scans, so you will likely slide into the scanner more than once.
  • The scanner is open at the back and the front, allowing you to see out. The technologist will always be able to see and hear you during your exam.
  • You will be asked to hold very still and at times to hold your breath.
  • The imaging physician will perform the biopsy and remove a tissue sample.
  • This biopsy itself usually takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes.
After Your Procedure
  • You may eat and drink as normal after leaving the center.
  • The tissue sample will be sent to a laboratory for examination. Results from the test will be sent to your physician, usually within 48 hours.
  • Your physician will discuss these results with you and explain what they mean in relation to your health.
The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full range of advanced imaging, both radiology and cardiology, as well as interventional radiology and interventional tumor (oncology) treatments to the greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Mid-Cities, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake and West Hollywood.