Ultrasound-guided Biopsy


A biopsy is a medical procedure during which a small piece of tissue is removed so it can be studied in depth.

It can be frightening to learn you need to have a biopsy, but it’s a routine diagnostic procedure. Some biopsies, often called surgical biopsies, are performed by surgeons in a hospital setting using an incision or cutting method.

Here at the Jefferson Surgical Interventional Center in Roanoke, we perform minimally invasive biopsies, or Ultrasound-Guided Biopsies, using ultrasound technology to guide the biopsy needle. 

Ultrasound-Guided Biopsies aren’t suited for every situation, but we frequently perform biopsies of the head and neck, including the thyroid gland and the parotid gland. Ultrasound technology gives us a clear path in these compact areas to ensure we collect the right tissues during the biopsy.

There are other benefits to Ultrasound-Guided Biopsy, too.

Benefits of Ultrasound-Guided Biopsy

  • Limited scarring: Ultrasound-Guided Biopsies use a very small incision, so the chance of scarring is minimal.
  • Limited down time: in most cases, you can resume your normal activity within a few hours of your Ultrasound-Guided Biopsy.
  • Faster recovery: you may experience some mild discomfort for a day or two after the procedure, but you should be able to manage it with over-the-counter pain reliever, and it shouldn’t keep you from your normal routine.

If your doctor has ordered a biopsy, ask if you’re a candidate for this minimally invasive diagnostic procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need an Ultrasound-Guided Biopsy?
Your physician has detected a suspicious mass and wants to do further testing.
How do I prepare for an Ultrasound-Guided Biopsy?

Prior to your Ultrasound-Guided Biopsy, your doctor may order some blood work, which you will need to have drawn before your appointment.

Your physician will give you more detailed instructions, like what medications to stop taking, including anything containing aspirin or any non-steroidal inflammatory medications such as Aleve, Ibuprofen, etc.

Though this is a minimally invasive procedure, you may be asked to make arrangements for a ride home.

What happens before an Ultrasound-Guided Biopsy?

You’ll check in with our receptionist and be asked to complete some paperwork. Please bring your insurance cards and a list of your medications.

The interventional radiologist will talk to you about the procedure in detail. They will answer any questions you have and ask you to sign a consent form.

You will be asked to put on a hospital gown and to lie down on the x-ray table or stretcher.

Our staff will show your family or companion(s) to our comfortable waiting room for the duration of your appointment.

What happens during an Ultrasound-Guided Biopsy?

You’ll lie down on an x-ray table or stretcher, and the area to be biopsied will be prepped and a local anesthetic will be administered.

Your Jefferson Surgical interventional radiologist will make a very small incision and use the ultrasound equipment to guide the insertion of a thin, hollow needle into the tissue that needs to be studied further.

You will probably feel slight pressure as the physician retrieves the biopsy sample.

What happens after an Ultrasound-Guided Biopsy?

A dressing and an ice pack will be applied to the procedure site. After 10-15 minutes you will be allowed to leave if there are con complications. You should be able to return to your normal routine the next day.

We’ll send your tissue sample to a laboratory for testing, and the laboratory will report the results to the physician who ordered your biopsy within about two to three business days.