What is an ultrasound guided biopsy?

When an abnormality cannot be clearly defined or identified with preliminary imaging or clinical examination, a needle biopsy may be necessary to obtain the additional information required.

Ultrasound is used as a very useful guide to ensure the biopsy sample is taken from the most desirable location within the abnormality.

Patient preparation

There is no specific preparation required.

When booking your biopsy appointment please inform us if you are taking any blood-thinning medication. (i.e. Aspirin, Warfarin, Clopidogrel, etc). You may need to have a blood-clotting test before the procedure and have your medication adjusted by your doctor.

What will happen during the examination?

You may be asked to change into a gown, depending on the part of the body being examined.

Ultrasound scanning is performed to locate the abnormality and determine the best approach for acquiring the sample.

Under sterile conditions the radiologist (specialist medical imaging doctor) will use ultrasound guidance to position a needle into the area of interest and obtain a small tissue sample. This process may be repeated several times for complete analysis. Bleeding is normally minimal and after needle removal a bandaid is applied.

Are there any risks?

A little bruising is normally the extent of the after-effects.

Other risks, such as infection or injury to organs, are very low. We take every precaution to ensure your procedure is safe and sterile.

If you have any symptoms that you are concerned with following your biopsy, please consult your doctor or present to an emergency department.

After the examination

As soon as you feel comfortable, which is normally immediately after your procedure, you may leave the department and resume your normal activities.

The tissue sample will require detailed examination under a microscope by a pathologist. We will not be able to provide the final pathology report at the time of the examination. This will be sent to your doctor by the pathologist a few days after the examination. It is important for you to visit your GP/specialist to discuss the final results.