How is a lung biopsy done?

Hi Friends,
I just have a question about how they do lung biopsies? A PET/CT scan for ovarian cancer revealed several calcified lymph nodes in my right lung and another unidentified small mass that isn't necessarily calcified. I don't have an appointment with a pulmonologist until June 17th and I'm just worried. Will they for sure want to biopsy it? How else will they know for sure what it is? And if they do a biopsy, how is that done? Does it take long? Does it hurt? Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!
Heidi

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I am so sorry you have found this site but it is very informative.. they do biopsy's different ways .. they usually do a bronscopy.. you are put out so you dont feel anything (google it) ..maybe you can get a sooner apt.. call them and tell them your stressed.. I wish you all the best and pray its nothing..
God Bless
Lisa

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Thanks lisalulu.

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When they found 'issues' in my right lung via the CT and Pet scan, they did a bronchoscopy.
They knock you out and insert a very small tube w/camera into the lung and both take tissue samples and a levage extract from a small amount of water they flush into the area.
I was lucky they did the levage because 'someone' in the biopsy room sent the lab an empty dish instead of the 6 tissue samples they collected... The error was not discovered until it was too late to test the biopsy tissue. My Stage IV NSCLC was diagnosed from the tissue they flushed out via the levage.
The biopsy doesnt take long, it doesnt hurt and it wouldnt be rude to remind them to ensure that all samples collected get to the right place for testing !!

Good wishes and prayers to you - Debbie

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No pain at all, you get something to knock you out cold!! and you wake up and hopefully they got it, if not they can always do a small surgical incision to obtain the cells but either way no pain. good luck, and God bless, praying it is not cancer at all.
Sandy

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Thanks Debbie and Sandy too!

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Ouch! It's funny because I was not given an option of going under for a lung biopsy, but it was in the lower right lobe and close to the spine from the back -- they relaxed me and stuck in a needle and ouch I had to stay absolutely still!

But -- when the new I had lung cancer and did the PET for METS they didn't go ahead and biospy other places, they did the PET to find out if it HAD metastasized. They are talking about biospy-ing my adrenal glads now just because they want to test for EGFR and there wasn't enough in my lung biopsy to do the test. Now that it's back they are going to biopsy for it.

So I don't know that a lung biopsy would necessarily be in order for you. My mom started with lung, which was taken away (surgery) and then had PRIMARY liver cancer 8 months later -- they did a biopsy on the liver because, well, because it didn't LOOK like lung caancer. And it wasn't -- so they took the right side of her liver. The thing there was when it came back, in the liver, it wasn't in a place that was accessible to biopsy and it "looked" like lung mets.

When they biopsied her lung, they went down with a tube and camera and took some out -- so I am sure it depends largely on where the tumor is. Mine wouldn't have come up the tube in front but it was right under in back, almost (not quite!) touching the chest wall.

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I was scared to get a lung biopsy too. But my pulmonary doctor called me on a Saturday to tell me this: "I know you must be worried and scared. In the world of medical tests there are BIG tests and there are LITTLE tests. A bronchoscopy is a LITTLE test." I had a bronchoscopy biopsy the following Monday and it was MUCH less bad that my fearful thoughts about it. They use the same drug as when you get a colonoscopy. They put you out but bring you around right afterward and you don't feel or remember a thing. It "sounds" awful, but in the context of everything I've been through, it was no big deal getting the procedure done. Waiting for the results was much harder to deal with. Good luck!

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I had to have a needle biopsy thru my back because of the location. It was a simple process with no pain, but I did have a pneumothorax which again, wasn't painful, but it was annoying because I had to stay at the hospital for a couple hours longer for my lung to recover. My fear and anticipation of the process was the worst part .

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I've had two bronoscopes, they just gave me something to relax me, I was awake, it was uncomfortble but no pain. Both were done at military hospitals and they just don't knock you out, only time I was put out for stent in my leg I ended up in ICU on ventilator, they couldn't get me to wake up, when I did I came up fighting, so I don't mind being awake.

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I had a needle biopsy which was scary but not painful. My British friend says Americans won't accept pain, so our docs really work to make sure we have no pain. I could feel the guy getting little samples out of the tumor, but it didn't hurt. Mostly I was just stressed to the max and the worst part was I couldn't breathe because of the pillow for my face. The doc rolled it up smaller and that worked really well. So if you have a needle biopsy, roll the pillow up tightly and make sure you can breathe before they start.

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I, too, was awake but felt no pain. The doctors and hospital did freak me out because they kept telling me there was a possibility of my lung collapsing from the biopsy (which it did not). Good luck to you.

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I had a CT SCAN Needle biopsy and was awake but very high on VERSED (sp). Sheezzz, my nurse's name was Christine, and she was right there with me all the time with my arms laying forward.

I didn't shut UP. I remember it all and I felt a very tiny prick and told Christine "Hey, tell the doc that's not where the tumor is, it's in the lower right lobe. "

She laughed and said he can see where it is, you just have to be still. I still rattled on and on. Don't remember all the things I was saying but probably my life's story. I really didn't feel anything but that tiny prick and that probably was the local anesthesia.

Christine told my hubby that she gave me plenty of Versed, but I wouldn't shut up. Haha. I felt fine :) and you will too.
Much Love,
Marylou

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when i found out i had to have a needle biopsy, i just about threw in the towel! i was sooo terrified! and they told me i had to be awake for it! being one to always do things backwards, i recruited my best friend to stay with me while they numbed me. i didnt think that would really be that big ofa deal, after all, they numb women up before they have caesarean sections, and the hub is allowed in there then. and my back isno wheres near as personal as what all they numb for that! well, it took me 3 teams and 13 weeks of delayed treatment time before i could find someone willing to do that under those conditions because they numb you up right in the same room they do the outpatient surgery. the best laid plans of mice and men.....much to my relief and surprise, they let him stay thru the entire procedure! i was so amazed, and surely have never been loved so much as when he took my hand AFTER they had done the second round of numbing. i expected him to be gone by then! god i was so relievedm and the rest of the biopsy went off wthout incident. in looking back, i had certainly scared the hell out of myself because it was no wheres near as bad as i anticipated. still, being the first of any surgical procedures i had ever had, it was nice he was there with me....hub had an astrologers converence to go to instead. :(

you will do fine. you are a lot more level headed than i am, and not so prone to build monsters, and the docs are pretty darn good at making sure you are only minimally uncomfortable.

ill keep ya in my prayers,
deb

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Roy's biopsy was performed from the 'outside'. He did feel some pain but it wasn't horrible. They prep'ed the area on his chest and then stuck a thin needle through the chest wall and into the lesion area, using ultra sound to guide the needle. Then they scooped out 1 inch skinny worm-like sections of the area they wanted to look at. His first biopsy like this did't work as he started to get a 'pneumo'. That's where the lung starts to collapse. They had to pull out and wait a week. He did fine, went home and rested. Some people can end up in the hospital if the pneumo is bad enough. The second attempted went very well. These were both done on an outpatient basis, at the hospital.
I will be praying for you. Hang in there and just take one blessed day at a time.
Bert

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For the very brave or unfaint of heart - you can look up the kind of biopsy ( inside or outside ) on youtube. You would be amazed and it shows you exactly how its done. I remember I did that before my bronchoscopy and it did make me a little calmer...
Debbie

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Hi, I had two kinds of lung biopsies. The first was with the camera down my throat. I was awake and responsive, they did some spraying so you just follow their simple instructions. They did it in the examination room. I was frightened at the spraying, but when I relaxed as they instructed it was fine. It didn't take very long. My grandchildren barged into the room as soon as they were done, I got dressed and walked out to have some lunch.
The second was the needle in the back. I was sedated but again awake and responsive. I asked not to have the added anesthesia they usually give. The only thing I felt was pressure as though someone was pushing their thumb against my back when the needle went in, and again when it came out--so painless, tho scary. Again I was up and went out to lunch shortly afterward. Since I had to catch a commuter plane to get home, they paid for me to stay overnight in a hotel to delay the trip for 24 hours so my lung would not collapse under cabin pressure. My husband could not even find the pinpoint where the needle went in and I had a wonderful time with my grandchildren for dinner that night.

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