Pancreatic Biopsy: Types, Procedure And Recovery Time 2023

Before discussing Pancreatic Biopsy must know what is pancreatitis. Inflammation of the pancreas results in pancreatitis, a medical disorder that can be extremely painful and lead to additional health issues. The pancreas is a gland in the belly that creates hormones to control blood sugar levels and enzymes to help in digesting food. The enzymes that the pancreas generates may start attacking it when it is inflamed, causing discomfort and tissue damage and it is a very painful condition.

What is Pancreatic Biopsy?

A pancreatic biopsy is a medical procedure that involves obtaining a sample of tissue from the pancreas for diagnostic purposes. Although it can provide valuable information about the condition of the organ, there are potential complications associated with this procedure. One possible complication is bleeding, which may occur due to injury to blood vessels during the biopsy or as a result of anticoagulant medication use.

Types of Pancreatic Biopsies:

There are several types of Pancreatic Biopsy that are done according to the need of the patient:

Endoscopic Ultrasound-Guided Fine Needle Aspiration (EUS-FNA):

This procedure uses an endoscope that is equipped with an ultrasound probe and a small needle. To access the pancreas, the endoscope is introduced through the mouth into the duodenum and stomach. The pancreatic suspicious area is located with an ultrasonic probe, and a tissue sample is taken with a needle for analysis.

Computed Tomography (CT) Guided Biopsy:

This procedure uses a CT scan to direct a needle to a suspected pancreatic tumor. To collect a tissue sample, the needle is injected into the pancreas through the skin.

Laparoscopic Biopsy:

This procedure uses a laparoscope, a little tube with a camera on the end of it. To access the pancreas, a tiny abdominal incision is used to introduce the laparoscope. Afterward, a little tissue sample is taken out for analysis.

Pancreatic Biopsy

Open Surgical Biopsy:

An abdominal incision is made using the open surgical biopsy method in order to gain access to the pancreas. Next, a tissue sample is taken out for analysis.

Pancreatic Cancer Liquid Biopsy:

A medical procedure known as a pancreatic cancer liquid biopsy scans a patient’s blood for tumor-specific genetic material. This test can be used to identify pancreatic cancer, track its development, and choose the most effective treatments for patients.

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Pancreatic Biopsy Procedure:

There are several steps included in Pancreatic Biopsy:


To help ensure the stomach and intestines are empty, the patient will be told to fast for a specific amount of time before the biopsy, typically 8 to 12 hours. Before the treatment, the patient might also need to temporarily cease taking several drugs, such as blood thinners.


To relax and reduce pain during the biopsy, the patient could receive sedation or local anesthetic.


Ultrasound, CT, or MRI imaging equipment is frequently used to guide the biopsy. The imaging aids in locating the pancreatic anomaly and directing the biopsy needle in the right place.


The physician will take a small sample of pancreatic tissue using a needle. Several samples may be taken in various circumstances. The biopsy sample is delivered to a lab for evaluation.

Pancreatic Biopsy Complications:

The procedure is generally considered safe, but there are some pancreatic biopsy risks that can occur, including:


If the biopsy needle unintentionally punctures a blood artery during the process, bleeding may happen during or after the biopsy. While minor bleeding is frequent and usually resolves on its own, more serious bleeding may necessitate further medical attention.


There is a risk of infection whenever the skin is broken. Following adequate sterilizing protocols and taking antibiotics before the treatment, particularly for patients who are at increased risk of infection, can reduce the chance of infection.

Pancreatic Biopsy

Organ damage:

In a small percentage of cases, the biopsy needle may harm neighboring organs such as the liver, spleen, or stomach.


Some patients, particularly those undergoing a CT-guided pancreatic biopsy, may experience an allergic reaction to the contrast material utilized in these procedures.

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Pancrease Biopsy Recovery Time:

The type of biopsy done, the patient’s general health and any potential problems can all affect how long it takes to recover from a pancreas biopsy.

It is typical to feel some discomfort following the biopsy, such as soreness and swelling in the region where the sample was obtained. To assist you to deal with any discomfort you may feel, your doctor will prescribe painkillers.

You should rest and refrain from any intense activity for a few days to a week after a pancreatic biopsy in order to fully recover. In order to avoid infection and encourage healing, you should also abide by your doctor’s advice on how to take care of the biopsy site.

Following the biopsy, it is critical to check in with your doctor to go over the results and go over any potential additional treatment options. You should call your doctor right away if you have any unexpected symptoms or consequences, such as a fever, significant bleeding, or excruciating pain.


Is a pancreatic biopsy painful?
A pancreatic biopsy can be uncomfortable, but the amount of pain can vary depending on several factors, such as the type of biopsy performed, the individual’s pain tolerance, and the skill of the medical professional performing the procedure.
How long does a pancreatic biopsy take?
The duration of a pancreatic biopsy procedure can vary depending on the type of biopsy being performed and the complexity of the case. Generally, a pancreatic biopsy takes about 30 minutes to one hour to complete.
Do you need a biopsy to confirm pancreatic cancer?
A biopsy is the most definitive way to confirm a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. During a biopsy, a small sample of tissue is removed from the pancreas and examined under a microscope to detect any cancerous cells.


In summary, a pancreatic biopsy is a diagnostic operation performed to acquire a tiny sample of pancreatic tissue for additional testing. The process can be carried out using a variety of techniques, such as surgical biopsy, core needle biopsy, and fine-needle aspiration biopsy. The size, location, and general health of the patient all influence the sort of biopsy that is performed.

The type of pancreatic biopsy performed and the patient’s general condition can affect how long it takes to recover. A few days to a week is often needed for recuperation following a pancreatic biopsy; during this time, the patient should relax and refrain from engaging in any vigorous activities.

Video Credits:

Animated Pancreas Patient

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