Lung Biopsy

What is a lung biopsy?

A lung biopsy is a procedure in which a doctor takes a small piece of tissue or small amount of fluid from your child's lung and sends it to the laboratory for analysis. The biopsy helps to determine if a lung lesion (an abnormal spot) is due to an infection or an immune disorder, or is a tumor or growth.

How is a lung biopsy performed?

Using ultrasound or CT scan for guidance, the doctor will insert a special hollow needle through the skin of the chest, directly into the area of interest in the lung. Then, we will take several small pieces of tissue.

We will place a bandage over the needle-puncture site.

Will my child be awake during the procedure?

No. We will use either intravenous sedation or general anesthesia so that your child isn’t awake.

How long does the procedure take?

Approximately one hour.

Will my child be in any pain after the procedure?

The needle-puncture site may be tender for several days. You may give your child over-the-counter pain medication.

What risks are associated with this procedure?

The procedure is considered low risk. However, potential complications include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Collapse of the lung (pneumothorax) requiring chest-tube placement
  • Bleeding into the chest cavity (hemothorax) requiring chest-tube placement

Are there any activity restrictions?

After the procedure, your child should rest for the remainder of the day. The next day, your child can return to light activities, but should avoid strenuous activity, such as rough playing or contact sports, for one week.

When can my child shower?

The bandage must stay dry and in place for 48 hours. You may sponge bathe your child during this time, as long as the bandage stays dry. After 48 hours you may remove the clear bandage, white gauze and sticky gauze used to seal the biopsy site, and your child can take a shower or a bath, as long as the site isn’t immersed in water. Leave the Steri-Strips® (white strips) in place. Do not immerse the site in water until the Steri-Strips fall off. If they haven’t fallen off after seven days, you may remove them.

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