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Open lung biopsy

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.

How the Test is Performed

 

An open lung biopsy is done in the hospital using general anesthesia, which means you are 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:

  • After cleaning the skin, the surgeon makes a small cut in the left or right side of your chest.
  • The ribs are gently separated.
  • Tissue is taken from the lung and sent to a laboratory for examination.
  • After surgery, the wound is closed with stitches.
  • Your surgeon may leave a small plastic tube in your chest to prevent air and fluid from building up.

 

How to Prepare for the Test

 

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.

 

How the Test will Feel

 

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 afterwards.

You may have a sore throat from the tube. You can ease the pain by eating ice chips.

 

Why the Test is Performed

 

The open lung biopsy is done to evaluate lung problems seen on x-ray or CT scan.

 

Normal Results

 

The lungs and lung tissue will be normal.

 

What Abnormal Results Mean

 

Abnormal results may be due to:

  • Benign tumors
  • Cancer
  • Certain infections (bacterial, viral, or fungal)
  • Lung diseases (fibrosis)

The procedure may help diagnose a number of different conditions, such as:

  • Rheumatoid lung disease
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Wegener granulomatosis

 

Risks

 

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.

 

 

References

Putnam JB Jr. Lung, chest wall, pleura, and mediastinum. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 58.

 
  • Lungs

    Lungs - illustration

    The major features of the lungs include the bronchi, the bronchioles and the alveoli. The alveoli are the microscopic blood vessel-lined sacks in which oxygen and carbon dioxide gas are exchanged.

    Lungs

    illustration

  • Incision for lung biopsy

    Incision for lung biopsy - illustration

    In a lung biopsy, a small piece of lung tissue is removed through a surgical incision in the chest. The abnormal results may indicate cancer, benign tumors, lung diseases, and certain infections.

    Incision for lung biopsy

    illustration

    • Lungs

      Lungs - illustration

      The major features of the lungs include the bronchi, the bronchioles and the alveoli. The alveoli are the microscopic blood vessel-lined sacks in which oxygen and carbon dioxide gas are exchanged.

      Lungs

      illustration

    • Incision for lung biopsy

      Incision for lung biopsy - illustration

      In a lung biopsy, a small piece of lung tissue is removed through a surgical incision in the chest. The abnormal results may indicate cancer, benign tumors, lung diseases, and certain infections.

      Incision for lung biopsy

      illustration

    A Closer Look

     

    Talking to your MD

     

      Self Care

       

        Tests for Open lung biopsy

         

         

        Review Date: 11/4/2014

        Reviewed By: John A. Daller, MD, PhD., Department of Surgery, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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