Liver Biopsy Procedure Information


You have been scheduled for a Liver Biopsy at the Digestive Health Center at the University of Virginia Medical Center.

Your appointment is on:                                                at                      .

Please arrive to register 45 minutes prior to your scheduled time.

A Liver Biopsy is a test where the doctor uses a needle to remove a small piece of tissue from your liver. The tissue is then sent to the lab to evaluate the condition of the liver. Any pre-tests done outside of UVA should be faxed to 434-244-7542.

  • Within 6 months you must have one of the following: Abdominal Ultrasound, MRI or CT. This is done to check the liver for abnormalities before the biopsy. Scheduling of your biopsy can not be done until we have these results.
  • Within 12 weeks you must have blood tests including: CBC/Plt and PT/INR. These tests help to determine if you could be at risk for bleeding because of your liver function.
  • Within 1 week of your biopsy you should make medicine changes.
  1. Stop any Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs like Aspirin, Ibuprofen Advil®, Aleve®, Ecotrin®, Bufferin®, Nuprin®, or Excedrin® for 7 days before the biopsy.
  2. If you take Coumadin (Warfarin®) or Plavix®, contact your doctor and ask if you can stop it 5-7 days before the biopsy. If your doctor says it is unsafe to stop please call 434-982-0225 and tell the Endoscopy Nurse.
  3. If you are diabetic call your regular medical doctor to ask about adjusting the dose of your blood sugar medicine on the day of the biopsy because you will not be following your regular diet on that day.

Day of your biopsy

  1. You will need to have a responsible adult driver to drive you home.  The driver must be with you when you register and stay with you until the nurse speaks with them. Please inform the driver they need to be readily available to us during and after your procedure.
  2. Do not have any solid food or milk products for 6 hours prior to the biopsy. You may drink clear liquids only until 2 hours before your appointment.
  3. Please take any blood pressure or heart medicines on the day of your biopsy. Bring a current list of your medicines with you.
  4. Please leave all jewelry and piercings at home.
  5. You will not be able to lift more than 5 pounds for 2 days after the biopsy, make plans for this with your employer if needed.

Having a Liver Biopsy requires a great deal of planning and cooperation between you and the medical team. Our requirements are present in order to provide you the safest care. We will need your best effort to keep all scheduled appointments, the timing of tests in relation to the biopsy is important. Rescheduling will result in a delay in your treatment and may cause you to have to repeat other tests if they have expired. Insurance may or may not cover the cost of repeated tests.

Preparing for this procedure is very important! If you have questions, call 434-982-0225 Mon-Fri 8-4:30 to speak to an Endoscopy Nurse. 

Thank you for choosing The Digestive Health Center at The University of Virginia.