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Viral Hepatitis and Liver Disease

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Liver Biopsy--Risks

for Veterans and the Public

Liver biopsy risks - Hepatitis C for Patients

A liver biopsy generally is very safe. But, as is true for any medical procedure, there are some risks. These risks include:

  • pain at the site of the biopsy
  • bleeding from the liver
  • puncturing of other organs, if something goes wrong when the needle is inserted
  • very rarely, death (1 in 10,000 cases)

You should not have a liver biopsy if you have used aspirin or another blood-thinning medicine the week before your procedure. You should not take these medicines in the week after your biopsy either. Make sure that you tell your doctor about all the medicines you have been taking or that you plan to take. You also should not have a liver biopsy if your doctor thinks that your liver disease has progressed to the point that your blood does not clot normally.