A tissue biopsy involves taking a small sample of tissue through a needle. The needle is guided into place using ultrasound.

The sample is sent to a pathology laboratory where the specimen is later analysed. Results are usually available in 2 to 3 days. The report will be sent to your referring doctor who will then convey these results to you.

The pathology company may also charge a gap for these services. Please discuss this with us if you have any questions.


You will lie or sit on the ultrasound table in the best way to access the area to be biopsied. Your skin will be cleaned with antiseptic, as will the ultrasound probe. The radiologist will use ultrasound to guide a fine needle into the correct area. Usually, 2 or 3 needle passes are needed to get a good sample. Sometimes it is necessary to use a larger needle. The radiologist will discuss this with you necessary.

Risks / Side Effects

Potential risks include:

  • Infection at the needle site. Aseptic technique (strict infection control practices) is used to minimise the risk of infection.
  • Bleeding: mild bleeding in the area may cause it to swell, which should subside naturally over the course of a few days. Rarely, excessive bleeding can occur and may require drainage.
  • Bruising: there may be some mild bruising at the site.

The biopsy may not get an adequate sample of tissue, which may require you to have a repeat biopsy.

Before your Scan

It is essential that your previous x-ray and ultrasound films are available at the biopsy. Please bring these with you to your examination.

Please tell us if you are on medication to thin your blood (e.g. Warfarin, Aspirin or Clopidogrel) at the time of booking. These may need to be stopped for certain procedures.

No other preparation is required, and you may eat and drink as normal before and after the procedure. With the exception of blood-thinning medication noted above, any other medication can be taken normally. If you have diabetes and are on insulin, take your usual medicines and diet.

Other Information

You may eat and drink immediately after the procedure.

You may remove your dressing/band-aid that night or the next day.

Avoid strenuous activity for 24 hours after the biopsy.

You may have some discomfort after the procedure. If required, a simple analgesic such as paracetamol (Panadol) should give relief. Do NOT take Aspirin. An ice-pack on the area may also provide some relief.

 Infection and bleeding are potential complications. If you notice any increased redness, swelling, fever or pain, notify your referring doctor or immediately call the clinic where the injection was performed.

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