CT-Guided Biopsy

Your doctor has requested a CT-guided biopsy. The CT scanner uses X-rays and advanced computer programs to create detailed images inside your body. This is a minimally invasive procedure that can usually be done without an overnight stay in the hospital. During a biopsy, one of our physicians will use images generated by a CT scanner (also called a cat scan) to accurately insert a needle into the tissue or organ, allowing a sample to be removed for testing. Our team of expert physicians, nurses and technologists is led by Cindy Kallman, MD, chief, Body CT.

Before Arriving for Your Procedure

  • You will need blood tests for PT, PTT and platelets. You should discuss these tests with your referring physician before the day of your biopsy.
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your exam. (If you are diabetic, you should talk to your referring physician before the day of your exam. You may receive special instructions with regard to medications and diet. Please do not alter your diet or medications without being instructed to do so by your physician.)
  • Do not take aspirin or aspirin-related medications for seven days before your procedure. You should discuss any changes to your medications with your physician.
  • You will need to wear a hospital gown for this procedure, so please wear comfortable clothing that you can change easily.
  • If you doctor gave you an order, please bring it with you.
  • You will not be allowed to drive the day of this procedure, so please arrange for someone to drive you home.
  • You should expect to be at the imaging center for approximately six hours, longer if blood tests are needed.

After Arriving

  • A radiology nurse or technologist will ask you a few questions regarding your medical history, they will also do a few simple tests such as taking your blood pressure.
  • Please inform the technologist, radiology nurse and/or physician of any allergies you may have before your exam.
  • An imaging physician will discuss this procedure with you in detail and answer any questions you may have.

During Your Procedure

  • You will be asked to lie down on the scanner table.
  • A nurse will insert an IV needle.
  • You will be given a local anesthetic. This will only numb the area around the site of the procedure. You will remain fully awake.
  • The table you are on will slide into the scanner. This process usually includes multiple scans, so you will likely slide into the scanner more than once.
  • The scanner is open at the back and the front, allowing you to see out. The technologist will always be able to see and hear you during your exam.
  • You will be asked to hold very still and at times to hold your breath.
  • The imaging physician will perform the biopsy and remove a tissue sample.
  • This biopsy itself usually takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes.

After Your Procedure

  • You will be moved to a room for observation by our nursing staff. You will need to remain here for approximately four hours of observation. During this time, your vital signs will be monitored.
  • You may eat and drink as normal after leaving the center.
  • You should not drive the day of your procedure.
  • The tissue or bone sample will be sent to a laboratory for examination. Results from the test will be sent to your physician, usually within 48 hours.
  • Your physician will discuss these results with you and explain what they mean in relation to your health.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 310-423-8000.

The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full range of advanced imaging, both radiology and cardiology, as well as interventional radiology and interventional tumor (oncology) treatments to the greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Mid-Cities, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake and West Hollywood.