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Liver Biopsy - Please give description
Feb 7, 2001

Dear Dr. Dieterich, I've been told by my doctor that the procedure used for a liver biopsy has changed. He says it's VERY fast, ultrasound is used to locate just the right place to go and instrument is almost like a "gun" in that it just "shoots" the needle in and out in a fraction of a second. (It makes me think of the old vaccine gun, I'm 44) I'm still very apprehensive about the procedure and am not a fan of pain. I suffered from abuse as a child and any intrusive procedure makes me quite nervous. Could you please describe the procedure in detail and supply information about the level of pain, both during and after? Also, is it common practice to administer a sedative for the biopsy and/or pain medication for afterwards? Thank you and I commend you on the great work, time and compassion you put into this site! MS

Response from Dr. Dieterich

Dear MS, There is a biopsy gun now that is very quick. I don't happen to use it. I will tell you what I do. I use sedatives before the biopsy, versed and demerol, the same drugs we use for other procedures. Then we use lidocaine in the local area and the needle goes in and out very quickly. Afterwards almost no one needs pain meds, although we do administer them if necessary. Good luck! DTD

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