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At UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, we believe parents and guardians can contribute to the success of this test, and we invite you to participate. Please read the following information to learn about the test and how you can help.
A liver biopsy allows the doctor to look at the liver tissue under the microscope. Not every child with an abnormal liver test will need a liver biopsy, but it is very useful when there are questions about the diagnosis or if the doctor needs to check for cirrhosis (seer-OH-siss) or scarring. The liver biopsy also allows the doctor to see the degree of inflammation (in-flah-MAY-shun) or swelling in the liver and which liver cells are most affected. The most common reasons for a liver biopsy are to look for causes of jaundice (JON-duss), which makes the skin and eyes look yellow; hepatitis (hep-uh-TITE-us) or liver cell inflammation; an enlarged liver; or abnormal liver function tests.
To keep your child comfortable, the liver biopsy will be done while your child is under general anesthesia (an-ess-THEEZ-ya), meaning that he or she will be sound asleep during the test.
When general anesthesia is needed, there are important rules for eating and drinking that must be followed in the hours before the test. One business day before your child’s test, you will receive a phone call from a nurse between the hours of 1 and 9 p.m. (Nurses do not make these calls on weekends or holidays.) Please have paper and a pen ready to write down these important instructions.
For children older than 12 months:
For infants under 12 months:
For all children:
Your child’s procedure will be cancelled if these instructions are not followed.
Before your child’s liver biopsy, a member of the anesthesia staff will meet with you to take your child’s vital signs, weight and medical history. As the parent or legal guardian, you will be asked to sign a consent form before the anesthesia is given.
We welcome your help and support during this test. One of the most important roles of a parent or guardian is to help your child stay calm and relaxed before and after the test. The easiest way to help your child stay calm is for you to stay calm.
If your child has any special needs or health issues you feel the doctor performing the test needs to know about please call the GI procedure nurse at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh before the test at 412-692-5944. It is important to notify us in advance about any special needs.
Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition
UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
One Children’s Hospital Drive
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
To schedule the procedure and ask questions before the procedure: 412-692-5944.
For questions or problems after the procedure: 412-692-5180. After hours: 412-692-5326.
Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
In addition to the main hospital, Children's has many convenient locations in other neighborhoods throughout the greater Pittsburgh region.
With myCHP, you can request appointments, review test results, and more.
For questions about a hospital bill call:
To pay your bill online, please visit UPMC's online bill payment system.
Interested in giving to Children's Hospital? Support the hospital by making a donation online, joining our Heroes in Healing monthly donor program, or visiting our site to learn about the other ways you can give back.