A biopsy is the removal of a sample of tissue from the body so that it can be sent to pathology for diagnosis. Biopsies can be taken from any part of the body, and are often performed by placing a needle through the skin into the area of interest. Biopsies are a useful tool as they provide a quick, accurate diagnosis so that the appropriate treatment can be taken.

  1. Anticoagulation and blooding-thinning medications (e.g. Warfarin, Aspirin, Platelet Inhibitors, etc.) may need to be ceased. Please refer to our Anticoagulation Medication Information Sheet for details.
  2. You will need to bring any previous scans that are relevant to the procedure.

Upon arrival you will be asked to complete a medical history questionnaire and consent form. You will be asked to change into a gown and shown into the procedure room. Before commencing the procedure, the radiologist will explain the procedure and any associated risks involved to you. They will not perform the procedure without your consent.

Biopsies can be performed using a variety of image guidance modalities, depending on the area and location of the tissue to be biopsied. These include CT, Ultrasound, MRI or Fluoroscopy (x-ray). The overall process of the biopsy will be the same, regardless of what image guidance modality is used. A trained radiographer or sonographer will be present to assist with the image guidance.

The procedure is performed using aseptic technique to reduce the chance of infection. This means that everything used during the procedure is sterile, including single use sterile gloves, syringes and needles.

The radiologist will then locate the area of tissue to be biopsied using the image guidance. Local anaesthetic may be used to numb the skin at the site of injection. This often stings for 15-20 seconds and subsides as the area becomes numb. The biopsy needle will then be guided into the correct position, also using image guidance. You should not feel any pain at this point. When the radiologist is satisfied that the needle is in the correct position, they will take a sample of the tissue. They may take more than one sample to increase the chances of an accurate diagnosis.

The samples will be sent off to pathology for diagnosis. Most biopsies take about 15-30 minutes.


You should be able to leave the practice straight after the procedure, given there are no complications.

Following the procedure you should rest and undertake only light activities for the next 24 hours.

You can recommence any blood-thinning medications the same day after the procedure, unless advised otherwise. We recommend that you see your doctor a week after the procedure to readjust your Warfarin dosage.

Serious complications from the procedure are rare. You may experience:

        Discomfort / minor ache at the biopsy site.
Paracetamol is usually effective in relieving the discomfort. It is important to avoid aspirin based products as they can lead to increased bleeding. You may also apply ice to the affected area.

        A small amount of bleeding at the site of the needle insertion.
To reduce the chance of bleeding we often apply local pressure to the site as the needle is removed. This rarely requires review and bruising should resolve spontaneously.

        Infection around the biopsy region.

This is rare, but if the area develops redness, swelling, tenderness, pain or discharge please contact your local doctor immediately.



9716 3600


 8042 3000


9911 6800

Five Dock

8705 8300


9598 0100


8228 9000

North Strathfield

8282 8100

North Sydney (Mater Imaging)

9955 4466
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