Discharge Instructions for Lung Biopsy

Discharge Instructions for Lung Biopsy

You had a procedure called lung biopsy. Your doctor used a special needle or stapler to collect a small amount of tissue or fluid from your lung to examine it for signs of damage or disease. Lung biopsies are performed when lung disease is suspected, to rule out cancer or determine what a mass might be. Here's what to do following the procedure.

Home Care

  • Don’t drive for 24 to 48 hours after the procedure.

  • Remove the bandage covering the biopsy site 24 to 48 hours after the procedure.

  • Don’t shower for 24 hours after the biopsy. If you wish, you may wash yourself with a sponge or washcloth. When you are able to shower, don’t scrub the site. Gently wash the area and pat it dry.

  • Avoid coughing for 24 hours.

  • Use your incentive spirometer at least 5 times a day for the first 2 weeks you are home. You can use it more if you want to. If you cannot get it up as high as you could previously, let your doctor know.

  • Don’t lift anything heavier than 10 pounds for 3 to 4 days after the procedure.

  • Ask your doctor when you can return to work. Most patients are able to go back to work within 24 to 48 hours of the procedure.

  • Do not smoke, and try to avoid anyone who is smoking.


Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.


When to Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following:

  • Exhaustion or extreme weakness

  • Coughing up blood

  • Sudden or increased shortness of breath

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

  • Sudden chest pain

  • Fever above 101°F (38.3°C) or shaking chills

  • Bleeding, drainage, or an opening at the biopsy site

  • Increasing redness, tenderness, or swelling at the biopsy site

  • Increasing pain, with or without activity

  • New or unusual swelling or pain in one or both of your legs or calves