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Image Guided Biopsies

Doctors use image guided biopsies if diagnostic imaging and other tests have been unable to provide a definitive diagnosis or adequately guide potential treatment for certain conditions. The radiologist will take a small sample of tissue that can be sent to a laboratory to be examined under a microscope.

A biopsy involves inserting a needle into the area of the body that is causing concern in order to obtain a small tissue sample or a few cells. We send these away for testing and analysis in a laboratory. Doctors use CT or ultrasound to ensure that the needle is accurately positioned in precisely the right part of the body.

You may need an image guided biopsy if diagnostic imaging alone has been unable to provide a definitive diagnosis or if your consultant wishes to obtain more detailed information about the part of your body that is causing concern. There may be certain abnormalities that have shown up on blood tests or diagnostic scans that require further investigation.

At Berkshire Imaging we offer a range of image guided biopsies, including biopsies of the liver or kidney, lymph nodes, lung, bone or intervertebral discs and thyroid. We can use ultrasound or CT scanning to guide the procedure depending on what is being biopsied.

Your biopsy will be carried out by a consultant radiologist who is specially trained in this procedure. Before your procedure we will give you specific instructions about whether or not to continue taking routine medication or if it is safe to eat or drink beforehand. Please be careful to follow these instructions.

We will ask you to lie on a couch next to the ultrasound scanner or X-ray machine or in the CT scanner. After sterilising the skin above the area to be biopsied, we will give you  an injection of local anaesthetic which will completely numb the area. If you are anxious about the procedure we may also give you a sedative to help you to relax.

We make a a very small cut in the skin before inserting the biopsy needle. The radiologist will use the imaging equipment to guide the needle until it is accurately positioned. We may ask you to hold your breath for a few seconds while the biopsy is taken.

The procedure normally takes 20-30 minutes after which we will monitor you closely for several hours. Depending on the type of biopsy you have had, you may be able to go home the same day but someone should remain with you overnight.

Image guided biopsies are generally very safe but as with all invasive medical procedures they carry some small risks. Your radiologist will talk to you about the specific risks for the procedure you are having but these might include a small risk of bleeding and/or discomfort afterwards. You may be required to lie flat for a period of time and you will receive regular monitoring after the procedure to reduce the risk of complications.

Why choose Berkshire Imaging?

We are one of the largest private radiology groups in Berkshire, providing imaging for patients across the county. We also provide interventional radiology procedures for patients in Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Bucks and London. We are leaders in medical imaging and image guided treatments. As a result we use cutting edge technologies to diagnose and treat many different and often complex conditions.

When you are concerned about your health, you want a doctor to see and treat you as quickly as possible. With Berkshire Imaging you will receive a prompt and accurate diagnosis. This can help ensure better outcomes if you need treatment or put your mind at ease if you don’t.

Where Are You Based?

We provide imaging for patients right across Berkshire. From Newbury and Thatcham in the West along the M4 corridor to Reading, Bracknell and Wokingham and as far as Maidenhead and Slough, we have helped hundreds of patients in Berkshire. Our strong relationships with all the major private hospitals across Berkshire enable us to offer rapid access to private scans in several locations.

Contact Us

If you have any questions our friendly patient care team will be happy to help. Contact us by calling 0118 338 2500 or emailing for more details about this procedure.


Frequently asked questions – Image Guided Biopsy

Doctors use image guided biopsies to diagnose a wide range of conditions ranging from infectious diseases to cancers. Once you have a definitive diagnosis your consultant will discuss the most appropriate course of treatment for you.

We will send your results promptly to your referring clinician. They will then get in touch to discuss them with you.

We offer a broad range of treatments at Berkshire Imaging, at a number of different locations. For this reason the price will vary. Please call 0118 338 2500 or email for an accurate price. You can also get in touch via our contact page. You can read more information relating to payments and insurance on our payment information page.

Follow the instructions we send you prior to the procedure. In certain cases, such as if you require sedation, you may need to avoid eating for several hours beforehand.