Needle Biopsy of Lung

Care After

A needle biopsy is a procedure to get a sample of cells from your body for testing. A needle biopsy may be used to take tissue or fluid samples from muscles, bones and organs, such as the liver or lungs.

The sample from your needle biopsy may help your doctor determine what is causing:

  • A mass or lump. A needle biopsy may reveal whether a mass or lump is a cyst, an infection, a benign tumor or cancer.

  • Infection. Tests from a needle biopsy can help doctors determine what germs are causing an infection so that the best medicines can be used for treatment.

  • Inflammation. Looking closely at a needle biopsy sample may reveal what is causing inflammation and what types of cells are involved.

Your caregiver has now completed a needle biopsy of the lung to help diagnose a medical condition or to rule out a disease or condition. A needle biopsy may also be used to assess the progress of a treatment.


Once your caregiver has collected enough cells or tissue for analysis, your needle biopsy procedure is complete. Your biopsy sample is sent to a laboratory to be tested. The results may be available in a day or two. More technical tests may require more time. Ask your caregiver how long you can expect to wait.

Your health care team may apply a bandage over the areas where the needle was inserted. You may be asked to apply pressure to the bandage for several minutes to ensure there is minimal bleeding.

In most cases, you can leave when your needle biopsy procedure is completed. Do not drive yourself home. Someone else should take you home. Whether you can leave right away or whether you will need to stay for observation depends on how you feel and the exam by your caregiver after the biopsy. In some cases your health care team may want to observe you for a few hours to ensure you do not have complications from your biopsy. If you received an IV sedative or general anesthetic, you will be taken to a comfortable place to relax while the medication wears off.

Expect to take it easy for the rest of the day. Protect the area where you received the needle biopsy by keeping the bandage in place for as long as instructed. You may feel some mild pain or discomfort in the area, but this should stop in a day or two. Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver.


  • You have pain at the biopsy site that worsens or is not helped by medicines.

  • You have swelling at the needle biopsy site.

  • You have drainage from the biopsy site.

  • You have new or unusual pain in your back or at the top of one or both shoulders.


  • You have a fever.

  • You develop lightheadedness or fainting.

  • You have chest pain or shortness of breath.

  • You have bleeding that does not stop with pressure or a bandage.

  • You have weakness or numbness in your legs.