Open lung biopsy
Biopsy - open lung
How the test is performed
An open lung biopsy is done in a hospital operating room under general anesthesia, which means you are asleep and pain-free. A tube will be placed through the mouth and into the airway that leads to the lungs.
After cleaning the skin, the surgeon makes a cut in the chest area and removes a small piece of lung tissue. The wound is closed with stitches.
A chest tube may be left in place for 1 - 2 days to prevent the lung from collapsing.
How to prepare for the test
You should tell the health care provider if you are pregnant, allergic to any medications, and if you have a bleeding problem. Be sure to tell the health care team which medications you are taking (including any herbal preparations).
You will be asked not to eat or drink for 8 to 12 hours before the procedure.
How the test will feel
When you wake up after the procedure, you will feel drowsy for several hours. You may have a mild sore throat from the tube. You will feel some discomfort and pain at the site of the biopsy.
Why the test is performed
The lungs and lung tissue will be normal.
What abnormal results mean
Abnormal results may indicate:
- Benign tumors
- Certain infections
- Lung diseases
The procedure may also help diagnose a number of different conditions.
What the risks are
There is a possibility of infection or an air leak into the chest. Your risk depends on whether or not you already have lung disease.
Reviewed By: Robert A. Cowles, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.