Liver Biopsy Specialist

Dr. Robert Webman, MD, is a board-certified gastroenterologist, internist, and primary care physician. He practices in Torrance, San Pedro, and Inglewood in California. Dr. Webman accepts many types of insurance, speaks English and Spanish, and is affiliated with Little Company of Mary Hospital in San Pedro and Vista Hospital of South Bay.

Liver Biopsy Q & A

by Robert M. Webman, MD

What Is a Liver Biopsy?

A liver biopsy is the examination and analysis of a small piece of your liver tissue to check for any signs of disease or unhealthy conditions. It is a small surgery, so your doctor will only order it if other tests come back abnormal and suggest that there may be a problem with your liver. Reasons why your doctor might order a liver biopsy include the following.

  • Abnormal blood tests for liver enzymes.
  • Jaundice, or yellowed skin, for no apparent reason.
  • An enlarged liver.
  • Abnormal images on ultrasound, MRI, or CT scans.

The liver biopsy takes place in the hospital. The whole procedure takes less than half an hour. You lie on your back and receive a local anesthetic to numb the area near the liver. While you hold your breath for 5 to 10 seconds, the doctor takes a small sample of your liver using a needle. The sample is sent to a lab for analysis.

You will stay on your right side for an hour or two after the procedure with a towel pressed against you. A nurse will check your pain levels and monitor your vital signs during this time.

How Do I Prepare for a Liver Biopsy?

A week before your scheduled lived biopsy, your doctor will instruct you to stop taking blood thinners, including aspirin. Do not eat or drink anything overnight or for at least 8 hours before your appointment. Ask your doctor about taking your regular medications during this time.

How Long Does It Take to Recover from a Liver Biopsy?

You can leave the hospital when you have recovered slightly. You cannot drive yourself because of the sedative, so you should arrange a ride home before the procedure. The doctor may order 8 to 12 hours of bed rest, except for using the bathroom. You may have pain in your shoulder for another week due to your diaphragm muscle being irritated by the procedure. You can take Tylenol, but not asprin or ibuprofen to numb the pain.

Major Insurance Providers Accepted

We accept most PPO insurance plans.  Below is a short list of the plans we accept.  Please call our office with any questions.

Aetna
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
Assurant Health
Beech Street
Guardian
Health Net
Humana
Medicaid
Medicare
Testimonials

Words from our patients

  • Vitals

    "I've been dealing with Dr. Webman during my mom's current hospitalization. He listens, answers questions and has kept me in the loop through the whole process."

    Verified Patient
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