Imaging Guided Biopsies and Interventions

What are imaging guided biopsies?
With advances in imaging technology, ultrasound and CT are now extensively used to help localize and guide diagnostic sampling of lesions located anywhere in the body. Such procedures can be performed in adults as well as children. Sampling of lesions are typically done to evaluate mass lesions identified on prior imaging studies to establish the nature of the mass. Additional reasons to undergo image guided procedures is for the aspiration of fluid from a body part and to obtain a sample for microbiological studies.
For a complete list of Biopsy Services offered by our section, please click here.
What are imaging guided interventions?
Minimally invasive interventions, such as RadioFrequency Ablation (RFA), are being used to treat cancers, such as kidney and lung cancer. These treatment options are offered by the radiologists at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center, in cooperation with specialists in the urology and thoracic surgery. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) involves placing a needle into the lesion of interest under CT or ultrasound guidance. Heat is then generated, and it is this heat that is used to destroy the tumor.
For information about kidney cancer ablation, click here.
For information about lung cancer ablation, click here.
What to expect?
You will be asked to arrive a few hours before your scheduled procedure, to allow time to complete routine blood work, and prepare you for the procedure. Provided that the blood test are normal, you will be transported to the procedure suite. The risks, benefits and alternatives of the procedure to be performed will be discussed, and you will be given a chance to ask questions.
The lesion to be sampled will be located with either CT or ultrasound, and marked. The skin will be sterilized, and local anesthesia is usually used to numb the skin. Subsequently, a needle will be placed into the lesion, and sampled. At the end of the procedure, a small bandage is placed, and you will be kept for a period of time to assess for complications.
Certain procedures, such as thyroid biopsies, paracentesis (abdominal fluid drainage), thoracentesis (chest fluid drainage), and procedures on superficial structures do not require routine blood work, nor admission before or after the procedure. You will be given an out-patient appointment, have your procedure, and then can go home immediately afterwards.
Imaging guided ablations (RFA) involve a similar procedure as biopsies, with some minor differences. Please click here for details about these procedures.