What do I expect with my lung biopsy?

I have to have a lung biopsy soon and I am wondering how much it will hurt and what pain I can expect afterwards. Any information/experience would be helpful. Thanks.

Report post

17 replies. Join the discussion

depends on what they do - i had no pain with any of the ppre-op and staging tests...they knock you out for most of them...

Report post

My lung biopsy was a broncoscopy so I was put under sedation and I wasn't totally out but I just felt some pulling and a snip. I didn't have any discomfort after but I was still under morphine when I left hospital. I went home and slept, really no discomfort. I am not sure what type of biopsy you are having. Corinne

Report post

I had three different kinds of biopsies: bronchoscopy, mediastinoscopy, and lymph node removal. All are usually outpatient procedures. I had an IV anesthetic for the bronchoscopy (like you get for a colonoscopy) which knocked me out for the procedure, though I woke up coughing a little at one point (they quickly put me under again). Two hours afterwards I went out to dinner with my sister and felt fine. For the other two, I was under general anesthetic. I was groggy when I woke up in recovery, and slept most of the rest of the day. The incision site was closed with purple glue (!) and healed without incident. I took Vicodin for one or two days for mild discomfort at the surgery site, otherwise it was like nothing had happened.

Report post

I'm having a needle biopsy. I've googled it and don't like the part where I've read "You will feel a sharp pain as needle reaches lung" Yikes!!! lol I am traveling home soon after and wondering how uncomfortable I will be. We are thinking of driving (2 days) to save money. Thanks for all your answers :)

Report post

You shouldn't feel any pain or even the needle going in. Didn't you have one in your first diagnosis two years ago? Take care, Judy

Report post

I had a mild sedative and a CTguided biopsy of the left lower lung. The needle was inserted through my back to reach the lesion. I had no pain at any time but had to stay at the hospital for a couple of hours longer because I developed a pneumothorax. I had no symptoms, no discomfort other than boredom from waiting for the lung to recover from the pneumothorax. They x-rayed the lung periodically, and as soon as the lung recovered from the pneumothorax, I was released. They require someone to accompany you for the procedure and to drive you home. Not everyone develops a pneumothorax.
Charlene

Report post

Hi Judy,
No, I had a biopsy but it was in my sacrum. My pain started in my back. Did an MRI and found tumor which they eventually found out was lung cancer. Do you know anything about post pain?

Report post

Thank you Charlene. You answered all my questions :)
Hope you are doing good now.

Report post

I have had 2 and was out for each-no follow up pain or discomfort. No spitting blood etc. Hope you do well, also.

Report post

My sister had the same experience as albertcharlie. Out, no pain or discomfort during or afterward. Just have them be sure your blood counts (especially the platelets) are good.

Report post

Thank you albertcharlie & easterbaby :)

Report post

I've had two lung biopsies and unless the cancer is very advanced, I wouldn't worry about it. It's much safer than a surgical biopsy. Take care, Judy

Report post

I had a needle biopsy without sedation, and you do feel the moment when they puncture the pleura. It is uncomfortable but not horrible. Then I had to have a wire placed before surgery. It was the same procedure but they sedated me. Wow! What a difference. Barely even registered it.

I did, however, develop a pneumothorax after I went home from my biopsy. I got this horrible cough when my body was in certain positions but not others. It took me two weeks to figure it out because it didn't have the classic symptoms. So if you have any excessive coughing, get an xray. Most people feel fine the next day. I didn't. That should have been my clue.

Report post

I had a needle biopsy with a ct scan for placement. I felt no pain at all. My tumor was in the upper left lobe. The doctor said that it was hard to locate because of the arteries, veins, collar bone and "stuff" that are there to protect the vital organs. They looked at the front , the back, the front again to determine needle placement. Finally they chose the front and were successful with first attempt. No after complaints. You'll be fine!!! BTW when I got home and took a shower, I saw a good deal of writing on my back where they were considering entry. Funny, it looked like doctor writing...illegible!

Joy

Report post

I had a lung biopsy in June. I didn't feel a thing. I remember talking to my doctor about what he was going to be doing. When I woke up, I was in the recovery room. Two hours later I had a CAT scan done to be sure that there was no leak in my lungs and then an hour later I was sent home. BTW I took a whole day off for the surgery and then was ordered not to return to work the following day. I think I was still feeling the reults of the anesthsia the following day. I vegetated with my grandsons and watch animated cartoons all day. I went back to work that Monday and was fine. Please let us know what the results of your test are. I will keep you in my daily rosary.

Munumko

Report post

Had Lung Biopsy a month ago. Had to take a Xanax to relax for it, then in a lite sleep you don't know what is going on or remember
Sore for two weeks after, just sore not a lot of pain.

Not bad at all.
Phyl

Report post

I had a needle biopsy with all the complications which is very rare. I had a total lung collapse they reinflated it and It collapsed again. I was in the hospital four days the first time and nine days the second time. Very rare. I am still recovering at home.

The pain was insignificant of the biopsy. They will watch you for a few hours to make sure your lung does not collapse.

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Photo of Dave Grant

The Lung Cancer Survivors Support Community has provided support for patients, caregivers, families and friends since 2006. We welcome over 600 new members every month in the fight against lung cancer.

ALK mutations and lung cancer

Join the discussion about ALK mutations and lung cancer

Things you can do

Discussion topics

Community leaders