Lung Biopsy

Also known as: lung needle biopsy, transthoracic lung biopsy.

What is lung biopsy?

A biopsy is a medical procedure that is used to remove a small piece of tissue from the body, typically to examine and diagnose it for a disease. In the case of the lungs, this biopsy is often performed with a large needle to minimize the impact on other parts of the body.  

What happens during the procedure?

After the patient is given a sedative, a small incision is made on the chest. Then the needle is inserted through the skin and the chest wall until it reaches the lungs. The tissue is sucked up through the needle and is typically taken to a laboratory for analysis. Open biopsies the require larger incisions to the chest can also be performed.

Is any special preparation needed? 

X-rays or CT scans are typically administered prior to the lung biopsy in order to pinpoint the precise spot where the biopsy should occur.

What are the risk factors? 

Infection, bleeding, pain, collapsed lung or damage to surrounding organs and tissues are potential risks of lung biopsy.

Reviewed by: Antonio Rodriguez, MD

This page was last updated on: January 19, 2022 02:44 PM