Biopsy - open lung
An open lung biopsy is surgery to remove a small piece of tissue from the lung. The sample is then examined for cancer, infection, or lung disease.
An open lung biopsy is done in the hospital using general anesthesia. This means you will be asleep and pain free. A tube will be placed through your mouth down your throat to help you breathe.
The surgery is done in the following way:
You should tell the health care provider if you are pregnant, allergic to any medicines, or if you have a bleeding problem. Be sure to tell your provider about all the medicines you take, including herbs, supplements, and those bought without a prescription.
Follow your surgeon's instructions for not eating or drinking before the procedure.
When you wake up after the procedure, you will feel drowsy for several hours.
There will be some tenderness and pain where the surgical cut is located. Most surgeons inject a long-acting local anesthetic at the surgical cut site so that you will have very little pain afterward.
You may have a sore throat from the tube. You can ease the pain by eating ice chips.
The open lung biopsy is done to evaluate lung problems seen on x-ray or CT scan.
The lungs and lung tissue will be normal.
Abnormal results may be due to:
The procedure may help diagnose a number of different conditions, such as:
There is a slight chance of:
Chernecky CC, Berger BJ. Biopsy, site-specific - specimen. In: Chernecky CC, Berger BJ, eds. Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures. 6th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:199-202.
Wald O, Izhar U, Sugarbaker DJ. Lung, chest wall, pleura, and mediastinum. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 58.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 10/12/2020
Reviewed By: Mary C. Mancini, MD, PhD, Director, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Christus Highland Medical Center, Shreveport, LA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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