CT guided Biopsy and Injections
Your physician has referred you to UVA Neuroradiology to undergo a procedure under CT guidance.
CT guidance allows us to visualize anatomy in exquisite details and to make certain the target of the procedure is reached accurately. The procedure will be performed by a neuroradiologist, a subspecialized doctor with training in performing and interpreting image guided procedures including performing biopsies and injections using CT guidance. The neuroradiologist will be assisted by a team of dedicated health care professionals including radiology technologists and nurses. Our goal is to make you as comfortable as possible. We welcome your questions, concerns, and comments, and are pleased to be able to offer this service to aid in your healthcare.
What are CT- guided Biopsies and Injections?
When we perform a biopsy, we take a sample of tissue from your head, neck or spine using CT guidance. This sample is sent to the lab for analysis, so that a definitive diagnosis can be obtained about the lesion that your doctor would like to characterize.
CT-guided injections consist of injecting different types of drugs in the epidural space, in facet joints and around nerve roots, usually in order to alleviate back pain. Sometimes, these injections are used as a diagnostic test to make sure that a specific structure is responsible for the back pain and is the appropriate target for a surgical intervention.
How to Prepare:
You will be seen by a Neuroradiologist prior to your procedure, either in our clinic or on the day of the procedure. We will perform a thorough history and review medications and any allergies you might have. Films such as CT scans and MRIs will be reviewed as well. A plan of treatment will be established and the details will be discussed with you. At that time, you will be given instructions for your procedure. We will need to have current labs. We will go over your medications and tell you which to take the morning of your procedure. You may be put on additional medications specific for the type of procedure you are having.
When your appointment is made, you will be given instructions as to where and when to come in for the procedure. You will also be given a phone number to call with questions. We ask that you follow medication instructions carefully. You will not be allowed to eat anything after midnight but you may drink clear liquids up until 2 hours before your procedure. Leave jewelry and other valuables at home. You must have someone to drive you home after your procedure.
Where to go the day of the procedure:
You will need to check in at Radiology Reception one hour prior to your scheduled procedure time. This will give us time to get you ready. One of the staff will pick you up after you have registered.
During your Procedure
You will lie on the CT scanner table during the procedure. You will also be given a numbing injection that may sting for a few seconds. A needle will then be inserted in the appropriate location under intermittent CT guidance. Anesthectics and/or steroids will be injected, or a fragment of tissue will be aspirated. The needle will be then removed.
After your Procedure
You will be returned to the stretcher and go to the recovery room where you will lie flat on your back for about an hour. Once stable, you will be allowed to sit up and go home. Detailed discharge instructions will be given to you and your family members. You will need someone to drive you home
Billing and Insurance
If you are a self-pay patient, a bill will be issued at time of service and mailed to your home.
If you are covered by a commercial health insurance carrier, please bring your cards or proof of coverage should be brought with you the day of your study. We will file your claim for you. Please note that you will be billed for any balance not covered by your plan. If you belong to a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) or Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) with which we have a contract, you must bring the referral and authorization form for the procedure to be covered.
If your visit is due to an accident (work-related, automobile, etc.), you must provide us with an authorization from the guarantor of your bill.
Note that separate bills are issued by the UVA (to cover facilities, equipment, and support personnel) and the Health Science Foundation (to cover the services of the physician neuroradiologists). So expect to see two bills for your study.
For additional information on the web, we recommend you click on the link below to visit the ACR and RSNA patient information site: