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Liver biopsy


What is the purpose of liver biopsy?

This test offers direct microscopic examination of liver tissue and aids in diagnosis.

How long will it take?

The procedure will take between 30 to 60 minutes. This includes the anaesthetic, the procedure and the time spent in the recovery room. Your child will be required to stay in the Day Unit for approximately six hours following the procedure. Overnight stay may be required.

When can my child eat and drink again?

If your child is awake on return to the Day Unit, they can have clear fluids immediately. A light diet will be offered when fully awake.

Care at home

Pain relief

  • Have some paracetamol at home. It can be given as per the instructions on the product packaging for the first three to five days.
  • Give other pain relief medicine if advised.
  • Do not give aspirin or nurofen (ibuprofen) or any other blood thinning medication until advised by your doctor.

Diet and fluids

Your child may eat and drink when feeling well.


It is not uncommon for children to vomit on the night of the operation. If your child is vomiting, give sips of clear fluids, try a piece of dry toast or a cracker biscuit and increase the amounts as tolerated until the vomiting settles. If vomiting continues after 24 hours seek medical advice.


There will be a small plastic dressing covering the operation site. Your child can bath or shower after 24 hours. The dressing will come off in a few days in the bath.


Swimming is allowed after six to eight weeks.

Points to remember

  • Liver biopsy usually requires admission for the day only (four to six hours) or overnight stay if required.
  • Vigorous play or contact sport should be avoided for six to eight weeks or as advised.
  • Avoid rough and tumble play with siblings and other children.
  • Your child may return to school after two to three days of feeling well.
  • Go to your closest hospital that treats children if:
    • there is weakness, dizziness or light headedness
    • oozing of blood from the biopsy site
    • fever
    • severe or increasing abdominal pain or shoulder tip pain.

Emergency contact

To ensure your child receives the best possible care in an emergency, you should call 000 or go to your closest hospital that treats children. If you have any concerns or questions please contact your doctor.

Contact Mater Children’s Private Brisbane

Salmon Building,

Raymond Terrace,

South Brisbane QLD 4101

Telephone: 07 3163 8111



Mater acknowledges consumer consultation in the development of this patient information.
Mater Doc Num: PI-CLN-470038
Last modified 09/8/2017.
Consumers were consulted in the development of this patient information.
Last consumer engagement date: 24/6/2015
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