Image Guided Biopsy

An image guided biopsy is a highly effective diagnostic tool. As it is not always possible to diagnose exactly what a lump detected by either your doctor or medical imaging scans is, it can be very useful to perform an image guided biopsy of the area. This may be a clinical decision by your doctor, or may be suggested by the radiologist at the time of reporting your initial scan.

Overview

The recommendation of a biopsy should not alarm you and is often precautionary to ensure a better interpretation of results.

A biopsy is performed to remove cells from the lesion or area in question and these are then sent to be viewed under the microscope by a pathologist for a more definitive answer.

At Rouse Hill Medical Imaging our highly trained radiologists can perform biopsy of various lesions using the guidance of our Ultrasound machine or CT scanner. Biopsy of breast, thyroid, lung, liver, kidney and other masses can all be performed.

Using the image guidance ensures the needle is placed in the correct position and the sample of cells being taken is from within the lesion.

Preparing for a Biopsy

Please bring your referral (letter from your doctor) and your Medicare and/or Pension Health care card with you to your appointment. It is important to bring all previous films and reports relating to the region being imaged i.e films and previous fine needle aspiration (FNA) and biopsy results.

For most biopsy procedures, no preparation is required. However, if the biopsy involves an area such as the liver, we may request for you to cease blood thinning medication prior to the biopsy. We may also need to see any recent blood test results.

After the biopsy you will be asked to avoid blood thinning medication, including aspirin.

The Biopsy Procedure

For CT guided biopsies, you will be placed on the CT scanner, and a short, low dose scan targeting the area required will be performed. This is used to locate the lesion and plan the biopsy. For lesions visible under ultrasound, the ultrasound machine is used to locate the lesion. The radiologist will then administer some local anaesthetic to numb the area, before using the CT scanner / ultrasound machine to guide a needle to the exact location of the lesion before taking samples. The sampling is usually done 3-4 times, to ensure as many cells as possible are provided to the pathologist to view. With the use of local anaesthetic and our highly skilled radiologist, the procedure is generally very well tolerated.

Results

Your results will usually be available 2 -3 days after the biopsy, and will be sent directly from the pathology lab to your doctor. We highly recommend that you discuss all biopsy results with your doctor.

FAQs

Why do I need a biopsy?
It is not always possible to diagnose exactly the nature of a lump or mass detected by either your doctor or medical imaging scans, without performing an image guided biopsy of the area.

When will my results be ready?
Your results will usually be available 2 -3 days after the biopsy, and will be sent directly from the pathology lab to your doctor. We highly recommend that you discuss all biopsy results with your doctor.

Are there any restrictions after a biopsy?
This depends on the region being biopsied. The staff of Rouse Hill Medical Imaging will provide you with specific instructions for post biopsy care.

What if I have bleeding tendencies?
Depending on the area of biopsy, we may need you to cease blood thinning medication prior to the biopsy, as well as provide recent blood test results. Make sure your doctor has a list of your medications well ahead of your scan. After the biopsy you will be asked to avoid blood thinning medication, including aspirin.

What is the risk of infection?
If you have a local skin or systemic infection, a biopsy may put you at greater risk for spreading the infection into the local area. Make sure to tell your doctor if you have any infected wounds, boils, or rashes anywhere on your body.

Will the doctor performing my biopsy tell me what’s wrong?
It is the radiographer’s duty to perform the test and ensure the images are of high quality for the radiologist (specialist doctor) to interpret them. Your results will usually be available 2 -3 days after the biopsy, and will be sent direct from the pathology lab to your doctor. We highly recommend that you discuss all biopsy results with your referring doctor.