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Liver Biopsy

Your child is scheduled for a liver biopsy at Children's Hospitals and Clinics.

Name of test: _____________________________________________

Date: _____________________________________________

Time: _____________________________________________

Please check in 15 minutes before the scheduled procedure for registration. Bring a list of your child's medicines and your insurance card with you.

___ Children's - Minneapolis
Patient Registration, 1st floor
2525 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, Minnesota

___ Children's - St. Paul
Patient Registration, 1st floor
345 North Smith Avenue
St. Paul, Minnesota

What is a liver biopsy?

A liver biopsy is a medical procedure in which a physician uses a special needle to remove a small piece of tissue from your child's liver to check for signs of damage.

Why does my child need the test?

A liver biopsy will help your doctor find out more about the health of your child's liver. Looking at liver tissue directly is the best way to determine whether the liver is healthy or what is causing it to be damaged.

How is the test done?

___ Your child will be sedated for the test. Please refer to "Sedation for a procedure" Patient Family Education sheet. After marking the outline of the liver, the physician will make a small incision in the skin, then insert the biopsy needle and take a sample of liver tissue. The physician will use imaging such as ultrasound of the liver to help guide the needle to a specific spot.

What can we expect after the test?

After the test, your child will have to lie quietly for several hours after the procedure. The nurse will watch your child for any bleeding, discomfort or problems from the test.

How should I care for my child at home?

Your child must remain resting quietly (except to use the bathroom) for 8-12 hours, depending on your physician's instructions. Avoid rough play, contact sports for 7 days after the procedure. Do not allow:

  • Riding bikes and other riding toys
  • Physical education classes
  • Swinging
  • Jumping
  • Heavy lifting

Expect a little soreness at the incision site and possibly some pain in the right shoulder area. It should disappear within a few hours or days. Your physician may recommend taking Tylenol® for pain, but you must not take aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen (Pediaprofin®, Motrin®, Advil®, Nalfon®, Naprosyn®, or Indocin®) for the first week after the procedure. These medicines increase the chance of bleeding.

When should I call the doctor?

Watch the biopsy site(s) for bleeding. If bleeding occurs, apply pressure directly on the site for 15 consecutive minutes with a clean washcloth or gauze and call the doctor right away.

Expect a small amount of bruising around the biopsy site(s). Watch for increased bruising or swelling.

Observe for dizziness, light-headedness, weakness, or increased abdominal pain.

Call your physician with any questions or concerns.

What else do I need to know?

The clinic that ordered the test will call you with the results or send a letter. If you have not received the results after 4 weeks, please call the clinic.


This sheet is not specific to your child but provides general information. For questions about why your child is being tested, please ask your child's doctor. If you have questions about the test or how to prepare your child, please call: __________________.

Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Patient/Family Education
2525 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Last reviewed 8/2015 ©Copyright

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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