September 29, 2021

Lung Biopsy is a procedure in which a small sample of lung tissue is removed and examined under a microscope to confirm the disease.

It helps the doctor differentiate a cancerous condition from a non-cancerous one and understand the type of cancer to start the right chemotherapy.

While many types of lung biopsy are available, a needle biopsy is most commonly used.

Let’s understand more about this procedure!

Needle Biopsy of the Lungs

A needle biopsy involves removing the lung tissue with the help of a hollow needle. Dr. Akhil Monga will collect tissue from the suspicious area and examine it under the microscope to find out the cause of your problem.

The biopsy is carried out under the guidance of imagining techniques such as computed tomography (CT) scan or ultrasound. They help in guiding the instruments to the correct location.


A needle lung biopsy is usually done to diagnose the type of lung nodule that cannot be determined by other methods such as through the bronchoscopy route.

It helps in diagnosing:

  • Cancer cells
  • Benign nodules
  • Lung infections

The Procedure

A needle lung biopsy is usually done on an outpatient basis.

You will be given a local anesthetic during the procedure. CT scan or ultrasound will help your doctor find out the location of the problem. With a CT-guided needle biopsy, you might need to lie on the CT table for about 30 mins. Ultrasound allows real-time monitoring of the needle. Your doctor will decide the most suitable option depending on your problem.

Once the doctor finds the affected area, they will make a small incision on the skin to introduce a needle. The doctor will then advance the needle to the affected area and remove the sample tissues. They may take several specimens if needed.

Once the biopsy is complete, the doctor will remove the needle and cover the wound with a dressing.


  • Minimally invasive procedure
  • Not painful
  • Quick recovery, and you can soon start your daily activities
  • A safe and effective procedure

Risk and Complications

Like all invasive procedures, biopsy carries some risk

The following are the risk and complications that can occur after the biopsy:

  • Air in pleural cavity (pneumothorax)
  • Bleeding
  • infection

If you experience the following symptoms after the lung biopsy, you should visit the doctor for immediate medication attention:

  • Serious chest pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • Shortness of breath