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Lung Biopsy 


Dr Hare specialises in image-guided lung biopsy techniques having gained expertise in the procedure working in North America. His pioneering NHS work using a Heimlich valve for lung biopsy has been featured in the national UK press and was published in Thorax, the official journal of the British Thoracic Society and part of the British Medical Journal group. Dr Hare has a diagnostic biopsy rate of greater than 97% and is one of the most experienced and skilled radiologists offering lung biopsy in Europe. His technical expertise in the successful biopsy of small lung nodules representing very early stage lung cancer has been recognised both locally and nationally.

A lung biopsy is a safe, minimally invasive way to make an early and accurate diagnosis so that you can get suitable treatment from your GP, specialist and/or chest consultant. Your doctor will usually request this test after having discussed the results of your CT chest scan with a radiologist. A number of curative treatment options may be available if lung cancer is diagnosed at an early stage.


What Patients Say...

"The biopsy was very straightforward. There was nothing to panic about."

Kypros Savva, London

"Diagnosed and treated in the best possible way"

Linda Mckeen, London



"The lung biopsy procedure was much quicker and easier than I had expected"

Thelma Gouge, London

Image-Guided Lung Biopsy


What is it?

A CT-guided needle lung biopsy is a test where a tiny sample of tissue is taken from the lung for analysis. Pictures from a CT scan are used to help guide the needle into the right area and it is performed under local anaesthetic.


Why do I need this test?

Your consultant has suggested that you need this test as review of your CT scan and tests may have shown a shadow in your lung that needs further evaluation.


Does it involve having a tube placed into the throat?

No. It simply involves a very thin needle placed into the lung through the skin. 


Will I need sedation?

No. Lung biopsy is a very safe procedure and requires cooperation with simple breathing instructions (eg "take a small breath in"). Therefore sedation is not routinely given nor recommended.


How do I prepare for the test?

A light breakfast is permitted and you can continue taking any medicine you may be on as normal, unless told otherwise by your consultant.


How long does the procedure take?

The procedure will take 10-15 minutes. You will have a chest X-ray 30 minutes after the procedure. If this is normal you can go home.


What are the risks?

This is a low risk, safe procedure and most potential side-effects can be safely managed at home. The two main side-effects include:


1. Pneumothorax (air leak) which can occur on occasion but is usually small and goes away by itself without requiring formal treatment. If the air leak is large a small tube may be needed to help re-inflate the lung which can be done as an out-patient. Dr Hare's NHS expertise in the safe and effective use of a small, discreet Heimlich valve drain to treat a large air leak has gained national recognition in the Times newspaper and with the BBC.


2. Some patients may cough up a small amount of blood either during the biopsy itself or up to two days afterwards. This is not a reason to get worried and and normally settles within a few minutes.


What do I need to do after I go home?

You should rest for the remainder of the day and have someone stay with you overnight. Take care to avoid over-exertion for 24-48 hours (eg no heavy lifting). Eat and drink as normal. You may shower 24 hours after the procedure. Follow any additional advice the doctors and nurses have provided.

Lung Biopsy, Lung Diagnosis, Dr Sam Hare
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