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This is Taylor. Taylor is really good at drawing. Right now, she is drawing a picture for her doctor. You see, Taylor's been visiting the hospital a lot lately to have her liver checked out. The other day, she went there for a liver biopsy. A liver biopsy is a test that doctors can use to find out what is going on in your liver. Taylor's doctors have almost figured out what is bugging Taylor's liver, but they needed this test to know for sure.
When Taylor first heard that she was going to have a liver biopsy, she was nervous. She thought having a biopsy might hurt.
The night before the test, Taylor knew she wouldn't be allowed to eat or drink anything after bedtime. She could eat again after the test.
Taylor and her dad went to the hospital the next morning. Taylor usually takes medicine around that time, but she didn't that morning. The doctor said it would be best to wait until after the biopsy.
Taylor was still worried about whether having the biopsy would hurt. Taylor's doctor explained that she would be given medicine to make her sleep through the whole thing. She wouldn't feel anything. The medicine worked. Taylor fell asleep, so she doesn't remember what happened next.
Taylor slept for awhile after liver biopsy. When she woke up, she felt fine – just tired and a little sore. Even though Taylor felt okay, she still had to rest in bed for awhile longer. She was curious about what had happened while she was asleep.
She asked her dad, and he said that the doctor cleaned off the skin on Taylor's right side, at the spot where Taylor's liver was inside. Next, Taylor's doctor gave her a shot. Taylor was already asleep, so she didn't even feel it. The shot had medicine in it to numb Taylor's skin in that spot.
The doctor used an ultrasound to find the best place to do the biopsy. The ultrasound showed pictures of Taylor's liver on a computer screen!
The actual biopsy took only a few seconds. Taylor's doctor got a very small piece of Taylor's liver inside a hollow needle. Taylor's dad finished his story by saying that the piece of Taylor's liver looked like a bit of string. This made Taylor giggle a little, thinking about the yarn hair on one of her dolls. Taylor met a really nice nurse named Candace, who was there to take care of her. Candace kept a close eye on Taylor to make sure that Taylor was doing okay.
Before coming to the hospital, Taylor had picked out a couple of her favorite books to bring, as well as her art kit. Taylor's dad read to her. After awhile, Taylor started to feel more awake. She sat up and drew some pictures. First, she drew a picture of herself to give to Candace. Next, Taylor drew a picture of a farm with pigs and chickens. When Taylor wanted to take a break from drawing, she and her dad played tic-tac-toe.
Soon, the four hours were up. Taylor's doctor checked her, and did some test. The doctor did a couple of quick tests to make sure Taylor's liver was working normally after the biopsy. Once that was done, Taylor was able to go home with her dad. She relaxed and watched movies for the rest of the day.
Like a lot of people that get liver biopsies, Taylor was scared at first. It turned out that feeling scared was actually worse than the biopsy. Taylor told her dad that it wasn't as bad as she thought! Now, Taylor's doing all the things she usually does.
For more information to help your child understand liver transplantation, read Hector's Liver Transplant Story.
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.
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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.