Ultrasound Biopsy

Your doctor has requested an ultrasound-guided biopsy. The goal of a biopsy is to remove a sample of tissue for testing in a laboratory. A biopsy can help diagnose abnormalities such as infection, inflammation or malignancy. During your biopsy, an imaging physician will use an ultrasound scanner to accurately guide a needle to the site of the biopsy. The needle will then be used to remove a tissue sample. At the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center, a highly trained medical team will oversee your procedure. This team will include an imaging physician, a diagnostic medical sonographer and a registered nurse.

Before Your Exam

  • Please note: The preparations for a thyroid biopsy are different from those listed below. Please consult your physician if you are having a biopsy of your thyroid.
  • Do not to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your exam. (If you are diabetic, you should talk to your referring physician before the day of your exam. You may receive special instructions with regard to medications and diet. Do not alter your diet or medications without being instructed to do so by your physician.)
  • Do not take aspirin or aspirin-related medications for seven days before your procedure. You should discuss any changes to your medications with your physician.
  • Some blood tests are required before a biopsy. You should speak to your referring physician about these tests. If these have not been done before the day of the biopsy, you will be asked to arrive for your appointment two hours early, so the blood tests can be completed and reviewed.
  • You must not eat or drink for eight hours before your procedure.
  • You will not be allowed to drive home by yourself. Please arrange to have a family member or friend drive you home. If you are using a taxi service, you must have an escort.
  • You will need to wear a hospital gown for this procedure, so please wear clothing that you can change easily.
  • You should expect to be at the imaging center for approximately six hours, longer if blood tests need to be performed.

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 have before your exam.
  • An imaging physician will discuss this procedure with you in detail and answer any questions you may have.

During Your Exam

  • You will be asked to lie down on the scanner table.
  • A nurse will insert an IV needle.
  • 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 15-30 minutes.

After Your Exam

  • You will be moved to a room for observation by our nursing staff. You will need to remain here for approximately four hours of observation. During this time, your vital signs will be monitored.
  • You may eat and drink as normal after leaving the center.
  • You should not drive the day of your procedure.
  • 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.

Directions and Parking

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For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call (310) 423-8000.

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, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake and West Hollywood.