How are patients managed after percutaneous biopsy?
Following biopsy, patients are observed for a period of time prior to discharge to ensure the absence of complications. The time of postprocedure observation will vary depending on the organ biopsied. If indicated, follow-up imaging or laboratory studies to evaluate for acute complications may also be performed. For example, following renal biopsies, patients are monitored with assessment of vital signs (pulse, blood pressure, and peripheral oxygen saturation level), serial complete blood count (CBC), and observation for pain or hematuria, with follow-up imaging also routinely performed in some practices. Following lung biopsy, patients are monitored for pneumothorax with one or two postbiopsy chest radiographs over a course of 2 to 4 hours. Patients with stable, small, and asymptomatic pneumothoraces can be discharged, while larger or symptomatic pneumothoraces are admitted for observation or treated with thoracostomy tubes and either admitted or discharged with a Heimlich valve. Appropriate discharge instructions for all biopsies should include a contact number that patients can call with any questions or concerns that they may have.