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Viral Hepatitis and Liver Disease

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Liver Biopsy--The Procedure

for Veterans and the Public

Liver biopsy--the procedure - Hepatitis C for Patients

A liver biopsy is a medical procedure done in a hospital. You will need to lie flat on your back during the procedure. First, the doctor will find the space between your ribs on your right side where a liver biopsy can be performed most safely.

Then, the doctor will clean the skin above this location and give you an injection (or shot) of local anesthetic to numb the area. After the area is numb, the doctor will insert a biopsy needle to take out a small piece of liver. This part of the procedure is done quickly.

Most people who have a liver biopsy say that it only hurts a little. One generally feels a sting when the doctor administers the shot of anesthetic. Many people also have a feeling of pressure when the doctor inserts the biopsy needle. Some people say that they feel this pressure in their right shoulder, as well.