Posted October 1, 2022 by Anusha ‐ 3 min read
A biopsy is the removal of some cells or tissue, fluids or growths for examination. The sample can be taken from any part of your body. It’s sent to a laboratory for testing and is looked at under a microscope.
What is a Biopsy?
A biopsy is the removal of some cells or tissue, fluids or growths for examination.
The sample can be taken from any part of your body.
It’s sent to a laboratory for testing and is looked at under a microscope.
Why is a Biopsy taken?
Biopsies are most often done to either confirm or rule out a suspicion of cancer. However, biopsies are also performed to diagnosis other causes of your symptoms including:
Inflammatory disorders, such as in the kidney (nephritis) or the liver (hepatitis).
Infections, such as tuberculosis.
Immune disorders, such as chronic pancreatitis.
Types of Biopsy
This biopsy uses a razor to scrape away a small sample of cells on the surface of your skin. This method is often used to collect part of a skin growth, sore or mole.
This biopsy uses a special device to punch a hole in the skin to remove all or most of a lesion deep in the skin. You may need stitches.
Excisional or incisional Biopsies
These skin biopsies remove all (excisional) or part of a lesion (incisional) to test or treat it. A scalpel is used to perform the biopsy. You will need stitches.
The needle used to gather tissue is inserted through your skin and is sometimes guided by a CT scan or ultrasound (if it can’t be felt).
A fine-needle aspiration (also called a fine-needle biopsy) is attached to a syringe.
This method is used to remove a small sample of tissue from a tumor or fluid.
A core needle biopsy is used to remove larger tissue samples.
This method is commonly used to check breast biopsies.
Endoscopic or laparoscopic Biopsy
These biopsies use an endoscope or laparoscope to see inside your body.
With both of these methods, a small cut is made in your skin and an instrument is inserted.
An endoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a camera on the tip, along with a cutting tool to remove your sample.
A laparoscope is a slightly different scope.
Excisional or incisional Biopsy
For these open biopsies, a surgeon cuts into your body and the entire tumor is removed (excisional biopsy) or a part of the tumor is removed (incisional biopsy) to test or treat it.
This biopsy is done while you’re having another procedure.
Your tissue will be removed and tested right away.
Results will come in soon after the procedure so if you need treatment, it can start immediately.
Bone marrow Biopsy
This biopsy is performed to get a closer look at your blood and rule out specific bone marrow disorders or cancers.
How do you prepare for a biopsy?
Depending on the biopsy type, your healthcare provider might make certain suggestions. Your provider might suggest that you:
Temporarily stop taking certain medications, such as aspirin or blood thinners.
Don’t eat or drink before the procedure.
Your healthcare provider will also want to know:
All medications you take, including herbal supplements, vitamins and over-the-counter products.
Any allergies you have, including latex, which is in the gloves worn by your healthcare team who will perform your biopsy.
Any current illnesses/medical conditions.
If there’s any chance you’re pregnant.
How to prepare for a Biopsy during pregnancy?
If you’re pregnant, you might have to take extra precautions before having a biopsy.
It depends on the reason, the type of biopsy and the part of your body where it’s done.
Be sure to talk with your provider about any questions or concerns you have about the impact of a biopsy on the health of you and your baby.
Risks of Biopsy