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Pulmonary Fibrosis

Lung biopsy

04/20/2009

Question:

yes, my husband who is 63, has pulmonary fibrosis, now the doctor wants to do a lung biopsy. What is the danger in doing this? The doctor has not put him on medication since he feels it will not help. He has had this for almost 4years now.

Answer:

Lung biopsies are done to establish a confident diagnosis and to be sure there are no other conditions that could be mimicing idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. This may be relevant in a patient who is 63 years old because lung transplantation may be a possibility in the future, depending on a patient's overall medical condition.

The risks of the lung biopsy are best discussed with the surgeon who will perform the procedure who can describe them in more detail as he/she takes into account the patient's other medical conditions.

In general, risks include the usual risks of anesthesia, bleeding, infection, and prolonged air leak from where the lung is cut.

For more information:

Go to the Pulmonary Fibrosis health topic, where you can:

Response by:

James N Allen, Jr, MD James N Allen, Jr, MD
Clinical Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University