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Image guided biopsy

Read about having an image guided biopsy to stage ovarian cancer.

What it is

You may have tissue samples (biopsies) taken from your ovaries or from a sheet of fatty tissue inside the abdomen called the omentum. Ovarian cancer can sometimes spread there.

How you have it

Image guided biopsy uses a scan to guide where to put the needle. This test may be guided by CT or by ultrasound scan. You have the test done in the scanning room under a local anaesthetic. The procedure takes about 10 to 20 minutes.

Tissue samples are taken from part of the ovary or omentum. You may have samples taken from different places, so you may have several needle puncture sites. The tissue samples are examined in the lab to check for cancer. 

After the test

After the test, you will rest in bed for a while and your pulse and blood pressure will be monitored. If all seems well, you can get up and eat and drink normally within a few hours. You can have this done as an outpatient or you may stay overnight in hospital. It will depend on how well you are and the time of day you have the test done.

An image guided biopsy is not suitable for all women. For example, if your tumour is in an area that is difficult to get to, you may have a laparoscopy instead.

Last reviewed: 
31 Mar 2016
  • Ovarian cancer: recognition and initial management

    National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines [CG122], April 2011

  • Newly diagnosed and relapsed epithelial ovarian carcinoma: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up

    J Ledermann and others; ESMO Guidelines Working Group

    Annals of Oncology. 2013 Oct;24 Suppl 6:vi24-32.

  • Image guided biopsy in the management of cancer of the ovary

    J Spencer and others

    Cancer Imaging. 2006; 6(1): 144–147

  • Principles and practice of oncology (10th edition)
    V De Vita and others
    Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, 2015

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