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A needle biopsy is a diagnostic procedure in which we use a needle to obtain tissue samples from an organ, bone or mass. The Division of Interventional Radiology uses computed tomography (CT), ultrasound and x-ray to guide the needle through the skin into the area that needs to be sampled.
Our pediatric interventional radiologists, the doctors who do the procedure, are highly trained in the performance of invasive procedures on infants and children.
In addition to the interventional radiologist, your child will be cared for by a team of anesthesiologists, nurse practitioners, nurses and technologists who specialize in caring for children undergoing interventional radiology procedures and treatments.
We perform needle biopsies in our suite on the second floor of the hospital, which features three procedure rooms equipped with the latest imaging technology, a recovery area for patients who have received sedation or anesthesia and examining rooms for outpatient visits.
The hospital is capable of obtaining sophisticated pathology and genetic processing of specimens obtained during a needle biopsy.
A needle biopsy is a procedure that takes tissue samples from an area needed to make a diagnosis.
The tissues are taken under image guidance, which means that images or pictures taken through CT, ultrasound or x-ray are used to guide the placement of the needle into the abnormal tissue with minimal risk of damage to adjacent organs. The imaging technique used depends upon the area of the body being examined.
The needle will take out a tiny piece of tissue, which will be tested by the appropriate laboratory.
Some children may need to have an appointment in the pre-op clinic:
Your child may receive sedation or general anesthesia to help him stay still during the procedure. The interventional radiology nurse or anesthesiologist will discuss this with you and obtain consent, either on the day of the procedure or at a scheduled pre-operative visit.
Explain in simple terms why the procedure is needed and what will happen.
Image-guided needle biopsy, when performed by an interventional radiologist with appropriate training and experience, is a safe technique. Like all invasive procedures, complications and side effects may occur. These will be explained to you in detail before you give your consent. The pierce of the needle through the skin may cause some discomfort but this will be minimized as much as possible by the use of local anesthetics (numbing medication) and sedation medication. If necessary, general anesthesia is available.
Your child may be exposed to ionizing radiation if x-rays or CT are used for image guidance during the procedure. We believe that the benefit to your child's health outweighs the exposure that occurs during the needle biopsy. Because children are more sensitive to radiation exposure than adults, we have been leaders in adjusting equipment and procedures to deliver the lowest possible dose to young patients.
After the procedure, the radiologist will tell you how the procedure went and whether the biopsy was adequate. The final analysis of the biopsy by the pathologist and geneticist will require additional time and the results will be relayed to you by your physician.
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