A lung biopsy is suggested by your doctor if an abnormal tissue growth or an unusual lung condition is suspected. The process involves taking a small sample of the lung tissue and studying it under the microscope to identify the actual problem. There are 4 different ways of taking a small piece of the lung tissue depending on the location from where the sample is taken and the overall condition of a person’s health.
Initially, your doctor may order an X-ray to locate or identify any abnormalities in the lungs; however, there are limitations to this kind of procedure, so a lung biopsy may be required. The reasons for this could be:
Lung biopsy is a standard procedure. Your doctor will explain how the procedure is done, its benefits, risks and it need.
The different methods of performing a lung biopsy depend on the location of the abnormal tissue, the severity of the condition and the amount of sample tissue needed.
The possible complications of lung biopsy will depend on the method used, the area where the tissue is located and your overall health condition. These would include:
What to expect
You should inform your doctor if you:
In preparation for the biopsy, your doctor will order certain laboratory tests such as complete blood count (CBC) and clotting factors. You will be advised to stop taking solid foods or fluids 6-12 hours before the surgery.
If the results reveal any nodules in the lungs, they may be caused by infections such as tuberculosis, or scars from previous infections. A mass or a nodule may be cancerous depending on certain factors. One of which is the size of the node.
However, if the results do not confirm infection or disease, you may be asked to wait and repeat the scan in a few months.
After a needle biopsy, you may be allowed to rest and will be monitored every 2 hours. You are to lie on your back to prevent bleeding. If there are no further complications, you will be allowed to go home, but advised to refrain from any strenuous activities for a week.
In open biopsy, VATS and mediastinoscopy, you will be observed in the recovery room and your temperature, blood sugar level, blood pressure and respiration will be monitored. If there are no complications, you will be transferred to your private room making sure that the chest tubes remain in place.
You may experience:
Inform your doctor if and when you feel: