A biopsy is a minimally invasive method of sampling tissue to determine if it is benign, malignant, or infectious. Using Computed Tomography (CT), real-time X-ray (fluoroscopy), ultrasound, and sometimes a combination of these imaging techniques to guide the procedure, our interventional radiologists are able to safely insert needles into hard-to-reach places in the body, including the lungs, kidneys, liver, lymph nodes, and the bones.
Biopsies are typically performed to diagnose lymphoma, kidney cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, and other soft tissue cancer. A biopsy may also be needed to diagnose a variety of problems other than cancer, including kidney disease, liver disease, interstitial lung disease, or infectious diseases.
Biopsies are usually performed in collaboration with pathologists who are experts at interpreting biopsy results. Results from these biopsies may be used by UT Southwestern’s world-class oncologists, infectious disease specialists, rheumatologists, kidney and liver specialists, and surgeons to make important treatment decisions.
Preparing for Image-Guided Biopsy
Biopsies are performed with conscious sedation, a process in which you are given medication to make you sleepy but not unconscious. Conscious sedation requires that you not eat a meal for 8 hours before the procedure. Most medications can be taken the morning of the procedure except for medications that affect blood clotting (aspirin, Plavix, Lovenox, Coumadin, etc).
If you are taking one of these medications, you may need to stop taking it or be switched to another medicine for a few days before the procedure. This will be coordinated by your doctor, if necessary.
Most biopsies are performed on an outpatient basis; however, depending on what organ is being biopsied, there may be a period of an observation period of up to 4 hours following the procedure.
Our team of interventional radiologists and physician assistants coordinates your complete care – from imaging evaluation to post-procedure follow-up – maintaining a high level of communication with you and your physician throughout the process. In addition, we coordinate closely with experts from across the UT Southwestern community.
Request an Appointment
To meet with an interventional radiologist at UT Southwestern's facilities in Dallas, or for more information about our services, request an appointment or call 214-645-8300.