What is a Biopsy/Drainage/Aspiration?

A Biopsy/Drainage/Aspiration is a medical procedure where a sample of tissue is taken from a patient for examination and diagnosis of an illness or medical condition. Occasionally it is also performed to relieve a build up of known fluid which is causing pain or discomfort. Biopsies in particular are important in the diagnosis of lesions.

CT or Ultrasound is used to guide the Radiologist to the exact location of the lesion being sampled.

It is important you make a booking for this procedure.

At The Time of Booking

Please tell us if you are on blood thinners such as Warfarin/Aspirin.


This procedure usually take between 15-45 mins.


  • Arrive 15 mins PRIOR to you booking time.
  • Please bring any previous films with you for comparison.

What To Expect

When you arrive you will be asked to complete a questionnaire and a consent form.

Once you are called, you will be asked to confirm your name, date of birth and what procedure you believe you are having performed that day.

Depending on what you are wearing, the radiographer may ask you to change into a gown, or remove any metal/ jewellery etc. that may interfere with the area being scanned. The radiographer will assist you into a comfortable positioned so that the area being examined is most accessible. Scans are taken to locate the exact position of the lesion. The skin in the area is sterilised with antiseptic, local anaesthetic given, then a needle is guided into the abnormality and a sample taken. This is repeated 2-4 times until sufficient material is obtained for pathology. More than one sample is needed to avoid sampling error and ensure there is adequate tissue for the pathologist.

After Your Examination

There can be some discomfort at the biopsy site but it is usually minor and resolves in 3-4 hours. Ice packs for 10 minutes each hour a simple analgesics such as paracetamol can be used if needed.

Pathology Results

It is essential you see your doctor within a few days to get the biopsy result. The pathologist will send their report directly to your doctor within 2-3 days of the biopsy.

Risks Involved

In general, these are very safe examinations and have a very low complication rate.

The most common complications of the procedure include bleeding or infection. However, since the procedure is performed under CT guidance and strict aseptic technique, the possibility of such complications is low. A full list of possible complications and risks will be provided to you prior to your examination upon arrive.

It is important if you have any questions to discuss it them with the Radiologist or the technician prior to your examination starting.


We understand having a medical procedure can sometimes be a confusing and worrisome time. We are here to help you, so if you are unsure about any aspect relating to your examination, please raise your concerns with us at any time and we will do our best to assist you.

Although we are happy to answer questions, you will need to discuss the results of your procedure directly with your referrer.

Your Images and Report

It is important that you make an appointment to return to your doctor after your visit with us. Whether the results are normal or abnormal, your doctor needs to correlate this with other information for further management.

Depending on your referrer’s preference(s), a copy of the report and images will be sent directly to your referring doctor within 2 business days. You may also be given a copy of your images on film or CD for your own records.

In urgent circumstances, our specialist will speak with your doctor directly by telephone the same day of your examination.

Digital copies of all studies are stored on our secured database for comparison with any future examinations.