Know the risks, procedure and purpose of lung needle biopsy

October 30, 2017   1199

A lung needle biopsy is a method to remove a piece of lung tissue for examination under a microscope. It is used to diagnose an irregular area of tissue in your lungs. As compared to other biopsies, the needle biopsy is less invasive. It may not require general anesthesia. The needle biopsy procedure helps determine whether a nodule is benign (non-cancerous) or cancerous.

Know the risks, procedure and purpose of lung needle biopsy

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Why Lung Needle Biopsy?

The goal of Lung Needle Biopsy is to make an accurate diagnosis. Following are the reasons for why Lung Needle Biopsy is performed:

  • To find an abnormality found on a chest X-ray, CT scan or another scan.
  • To diagnose lung infection or another lung disease.
  • To investigate the cause of unexplained fluid collection in the lung.
  • To determine if a lung mass is cancerous or not.
  • To determine the extent to which the malignant tumors spread.

Do you know?

Lung needle biopsy is also famous by the names Lung Aspiration Needle Biopsy, Transthoracic needle biopsy and percutaneous Needle biopsy of lung.

Procedure Involved:

  • It is a minimally invasive procedure. During this procedure, a biopsy of the lung tissue is performed to evaluate lung abnormalities, such as a lung mass, a lung cyst, and for any other abnormalities that affect lung function.
  • The procedure is conducted to sample abnormal lung tissue, which is then examined to detect the presence of abnormalities.

The procedure is performed by a specially trained intervention radiologist. Therefore, there is nothing to worry about if you are undergoing this procedure.

A biopsy needle that is several inches in length and quite wider than those used for      regular shots is used for this procedure. The needle is hollow and it allows the radiologist to obtain a tissue sample.

  • For easy insertion of the biopsy needle, a tiny incision may be made in your skin.
  • The radiologist then takes the sample of the abnormal tissue by inserting the needle. This may feel like pressure or even sharp pain.
  • You will even be asked to remain still and avoid coughing and any other sort of movement during the biopsy. You’ll need to hold your breath when the radiologist is ready to remove a tissue sample.

Several samples maybe needed for the best possible diagnosis results. The procedure can take up to an hour to complete and may require a patient to fast for up to 8 hours before the procedure.

Risks and Benefits of Needle-Based lung biopsy

Risks: All invasive procedures are associated with some risk. Lung needle biopsies are usually safe. However, as with any procedure, there are risks. For a lung needle biopsy, these include:

Lung Collapse: It is one of the risks associated with lung needle biopsy. This is because when the needle is inserted into the lungs, it can create a gap where air may be released.

A Sore throat: This procedure involves placing a tube through the nose or mouth to access the lungs due to which a sore throat may be experienced afterward.

Chance of infections: The bandages placed over the site where the procedure is performed must be kept in good condition to avoid any sort of infection.

Bleeding: Coughing up blood (hemoptysis).

Benefits: The risk associated with this procedure is less as compared to open needle biopsy because it does not involve general anesthesia. Some hemoptysis (coughing up blood) occurs in 5% of needle biopsies. Prolonged bleeding or infection may also occur, although these are very rare complications.
For lung needle biopsy, the benefits include:

  • Reliability: It is a reliable method of tissue diagnosis as compared to other lung biopsy methods.
  • Less Invasive: Needle-Based lung biopsy is less invasive then open and closed surgical biopsies.
  • Accurate Results: Usually this procedure is not much painful and even the results are as accurate as when a tissue sample is removed surgically.
  • Less recovery time: Recovery time is brief and patients can soon resume their usual activities.

At last, to be safe on your side, we will like to suggest that call your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms after your biopsy:

  • bleeding from the biopsy site
  • coughing up more than a small amount of blood
  • difficulty breathing
  • chest pain
  • fever
  • redness or drainage at the biopsy site

We all know; Prevention is better than cure. Therefore, to avoid such complications of undergoing surgeries and other treatments, better go for regular body checkups. Stay fit, stay blessed!

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