Sean C. Lai, MD -  - Primary Care Physician

Sean C. Lai, MD

Primary Care Physician & Gastroenterologist located in Santa Monica, CA

Liver Biopsy Specialist

Liver biopsy is an important tool for diagnosing and managing problems affecting the liver, including benign and malignant tumors. Men and women throughout the Santa Monica, CA, area rely on Dr. Sean Lai to provide safe and accurate liver biopsies to help them manage their disease more effectively.
    1. "He figured out an unusual and painful problem and it makes my life MUCH better!"

    2. M.I. Yelp

    1. "I knew I was being cared for by an expert!"

    2. Anonymous Wellness

Liver Biopsy Q & A

by Sean C. Lai, MD

What is a liver biopsy?

A liver biopsy uses a needle to aspirate, or collect, a tiny sample of liver tissue for examination under a microscope to check for signs of disease including cancer and hepatitis. Biopsies may be ordered when a liver function blood test returns abnormal results, or when an imaging study such as an x-ray, CT scan or ultrasound reveals a possible problem with the liver, such as a tumor or other mass. It may also be used to evaluate inflammation of the liver, to determine the cause of jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes), and to monitor the effects of specific medications on the liver.

How is a liver biopsy performed?

Liver biopsy uses a needle placed between the ribs on your right side and inserted into the liver to allow the doctor to extract a tissue sample. The biopsy needle is guided by ultrasound or CT scan to ensure it reaches the desired area of the liver. Prior to the procedure, you'll be given a sedative through an IV in your arm and a local anesthetic will be applied to the needle insertion site. In some cases, you may be asked to inhale and hold your breath while the needle is inserted and removed to ensure the needle does not touch your lung. Once the needle is removed, a bandage will be placed on the insertion site.

What can I expect following my liver biopsy?

After a few hours rest on your right side, you'll be allowed to go home. You'll have to avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting until Dr. Lai clears you for those activities, and you'll also need to avoid taking aspirin, blood thinners, anti-platelet medicines and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen for at least a week to prevent bleeding.

Major Insurance Accepted

Below is a short list of the insurance plans we accept. If you do not see your insurance on the list, please call our office. We also offer very reasonable discounted packages for patients who do not have insurance coverage.

Blue Cross
Blue Shield
First Health (Coventry Health Care)
GWH-Cigna (formerly Great West Healthcare)
Health Net
Great West Life
Oxford (UnitedHealthcare)

Words from our patients

  • Yelp

    "His experience, knowledge, skill and ability to address your G.I. issues and create a plan to help you regain your health is priceless. I HIGHLY recommend Dr. Lai."

    Cathy M.
    Lai, Sean C., MD
    2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 1286W
    Santa Monica, CA 90404
    Phone: 310-453-0553
    Fax: 310-943-2776
    Office Hours

    Sean Lai, MD
    2001 Santa Monica Blvd.
    Suite 1286W
    Santa Monica, CA 90404