Lung Biopsy

Lung biopsy is a procedure performed to sample abnormalities identified on chest imaging, usually to determine the presence or absence of cancer in the lung and the type of cancer. Sometimes it is used for the identification of infections or other abnormalities where the diagnosis is not certain with non-invasive imaging. The study is frequently ordered by pulmonologists, thoracic surgeons, or oncologists. Lung biopsies in radiology are usually performed with local anesthesia in the CT or fluoroscopy suite of the radiology department. The patient is positioned on the imaging table and the doctor, guided by the sophisticated imaging, inserts a needle into the lung abnormality to extract several samples of tissue for microscopic examination. The procedure usually takes around 30-45 minutes and requires patients to lie still for this length of time and at some points to hold their breath for up to 10 seconds. Usually patients are discharged within two hours after the procedure is complete. Occasionally they may need to be monitored for several hours or admitted to the hospital if complications occur. Biopsy results usually are available within a few days.


UAB Pulmonary Services is ranked among the best programs of its kind in the nation, and our physicians are consistently listed among the Best Doctors in America for respiratory disease. We serve patients at our main campus and also at our convenient neighborhood clinics in Hoover and Gardendale.

Most UAB Pulmonary Services doctors are triple board-certified in internal medicine, critical care, and pulmonary medicine. They serve on national boards and specialty organizations, speak at national conferences, publish in scientific and medical journals, and help conduct research that is recognized nationally and internationally. Our physicians are continually seeking new ways to treat lung disease and improve the techniques and care for transplant patients while contributing to the body of knowledge about lung disease. We have the only nationally accredited Sleep Medicine Fellowship Training Program in Alabama.

Many UAB Pulmonary Services physicians carry out research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to gain a better understanding of lung disease and its treatments or help turn new discoveries into therapies. Our physicians have served as presidents of many national societies, including the American College of Chest Physicians, the Association of Subspecialty Professors, and the Association of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Program Directors. The excellence of our clinical and research programs has been recognized with our membership in the NIH-funded COPD and IPF Clinical Research networks (COPDnet and IPFnet, respectively), as well as the American Lung Association's Asthma Clinical Research Network and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Therapeutics Development Network. The World Association of Sarcoidosis and Other Granulomatous Disorders (WASOG) and the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research (FSR) have recognized UAB as a Sarcoidosis Center of Excellence.








UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.

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