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Lung Biopsy

A lung biopsy is a surgery or procedure to remove small pieces of lung from the body. Doctors can look at the lung under the microscope to see more details. These doctors are called pathologists. Many different tests can be done on the lung to help with the diagnosis. Your medical team should only suggest a lung biopsy when other tests do not give clear answers. 

In chILD, doctors usually need to have 2 pieces of lung from different areas. This surgery can be done by a general surgeon or thoracic (chest) surgeon. There are different types of this surgery. Your surgeon will talk to you about the surgery that is best for your child.  

  • “VATS” stands for video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery – this means a camera is used to help with the biopsy.  

After surgery, your child may need a chest tube to help them heal. 

It may take several weeks to get answers from a lung biopsy. It is important that your medical team works with a pathologist who has experience with chILD. Sometimes your team may send slides from the lung biopsy to an experienced pathologist for a second opinion. 

Even with a lung biopsy, sometimes doctors don’t have the exact cause of chILD. This can be frustrating for families and the medical team.  

Drs. Lisa Young and Gail Deutch from chILD Research Network published a paper in 2023 entitled, “Lung Biopsy in the Diagnosis and Management of chILD”. This can be a resource to discuss with your medical team before your child’s lung biopsy. Click here to download.


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