A biopsy is a test performed by one of our highly trained interventional radiologists and involves taking a tissue sample for examination under the microscope to determine the nature of the tissue.

The entire procedure is performed under sterile conditions with the assistance of a nurse.

What to expect


You need a referral from your doctor to be able to book an appointment for this scan. 

Most needle biopsy procedure don’t require any preparation on your part. However, you will be asked to stop taking blood-thinning medications in the days before biopsy. When you book your appointment, you will be advised of all preparation details, including which blood tests to arrange.



Your healthcare team will position you so that there will be optimal access to the area of interest. 

The type of imaging you will undergo will depend on which part of your body is being biopsied.  An anaesthetic may be injected into the skin around the area to numb it.  In some cases, you may receive sedation or other medications to relax you during the procedure.  During the needle biopsy, the radiologist guides a needle through your skin and into the area of interest.  A sample of tissue is collected and the needle is then withdrawn.  This may be repeated several times to ensure adequate sample is obtained. 

You will experience mild discomfort during your needle biopsy, such as a sensation of pressure in the area.



Following the procedure, you will be transferred to Mercy Hospital's day-stay unit, where you will rest on a bed for a period of 2-3 hours.  Observations, including blood pressure and pulse rate,  will be taken to ensure no immediate complications.

Resumption of normal activities after the biopsy is dependent on nature of biopsy and you should discuss this with your interventional radiologist.  If you receive sedation as part of your anaesthesia, you will need someone to drive you home after the procedure.


It is common to experience some discomfort at the time of biopsy or soon afterwards. Treatment for this is usually by pain medication, either orally or by injection. Discomfort of this nature may be expected in about one third of patients. 

Rarely, more serious complications may occur. Your specialist has referred you for the biopsy as the overall benefit and information obtained from the procedure have been considered to outweigh the small risk of serious complications.


What is a biopsy for?

Biopsies are frequently used to diagnose cancer but they can help identify other conditions such as infections and inflammatory and autoimmune disorders.

How should I prepare?

Most needle biopsies are performed in an outpatient setting with minimal preparation. When you schedule your biopsy appointment, you will receive detailed instructions about preparation for the procedure.

Can I drive after a biopsy?

Your recovery period depends on the type of biopsy. The least invasive procedures require no recovery time. If you receive sedation as part of your anaesthesia, you will usually need someone to drive you home after the procedure.

Book a Biopsy


For an estimate of cost, please phone 0800 497 297 or email [email protected] with a copy of your referral.