Biopsies

A biopsy is a simple procedure, in which a small tissue sample is collected from a part of the body. Biopsies are usually performed when your preliminary tests are suspect to some abnormalities at the site or in an organ. The collected sample is scrutinized under a microscope; however, the presence of any abnormal cells does not constitute a cancer diagnosis.

The Method

Your biopsy sample can be collected in several ways, depending on the area to be examined. The biopsy may be conducted with the help of imaging techniques like Ultrasound or CT scan to determine the tissue’s exact location. If the area from where the tissue is to taken is sensitive, you may be given local or general anaesthesia or medicine that numbs the area.

Needle Biopsy

A small tissue sample can be taken from organs or lumps under the skin. The doctor inserts a long needle through the skin into the organs like liver, kidney, thyroid gland or the bone marrow. For small samples a Fine Needle is used. A Core Needle is used to collect bigger samples.

Punch Biopsy

The doctor may perform a punch on certain condition where there are visible lesion such as skin moles. In a punch biopsy, a circular instrument makes small holes in the skin to extract the required sample. You will be given local or general anaesthesia before the procedure.

Excisional Biopsy

Entire abnormal lesion is removed and it’s a major surgical procedure Depending on sensitivity, the targeted area may be benumbed by local anaesthesia.

Perioperative Biopsy

A perioperative biopsy is conducted during surgery. The tissue sample is drawn from the area being operated upon and the doctor can examine it instantly. This helps the surgeon to determine the extent of disease spared if it has spread to other area

You will be asked to lie on an examination table and may be given anaesthesia. In the absence of anaesthesia, you may be given a sedative or other medication intravenously to mitigate any pain or discomfort you may have during the actual procedure. The biopsy will be performed using any of the methods described above. The sample will then be examined by a pathologist to check for abnormalities.

Preparation

The doctor will give you specific instructions prior to the biopsy. Use the opportunity to ask him/her any questions you may have. Again, you need to be on an empty stomach to undergo the procedure. Further, depending on procedure hospital stay varies