Biopsy - The More You Know

Posted Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Did You Know?

Simple Biopsies usually take just a few minutes.

It is without saying that discovering a mass can be a scary experience. This new found swollen tissue, or nodule, would warrant further confirmation by your healthcare provider who may decide on further tests for diagnosis including biopsy.

This resource guide will help your patients understand the biopsy process, common conditions for which the procedure is performed and common pre & post op expectations.

01 | Why a Biopsy?

A biopsy is a subtraction of glands to collect a sample which is then examined beneath a microscope to identify what kind of infections exist, other autoimmune disorders or to ensure an organ donation, if needed. Specifically, an abnormal diagnosis could mean:

  • Cancer
    • Breast
    • Lung
    • Oral
    • Leukemia
    • Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Muscle infections
  • Nerve conditions
  • Male infertility
  • Autoimmune thyroid disease
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Autoimmune Hepatitis
  • Forms of Lupus

In the event of a cancer diagnosis, biopsies are used to detect if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. Biopsies can also indicate if cancer has spread within a patient’s body. The results will help your medical provider decide on the most appropriate course of action, if any is needed.

02 | Types of Biopsy Procedures

Most biopsies are performed in an Ambulatory Outpatient Center or in a hospital.Depending on the type of biopsy required, there are several ways a biopsy can be performed. Here is a list of some of the biopsy techniques that can be used:

  • Needle
  • Aspiration
  • Incisional/Excisional
  • Bone marrow
  • Punch
  • Skin

03 | Planning Ahead 

Speak to your medical provider regarding pre-op planning and post-op care. Discuss how to prepare for your biopsy and what to expect post-op. This may include post-op care instructions and either diagnosis communication or results discussions.

Depending on the type of biopsy procedure, post-op care and risk may vary. Procedural complications are rare; however risks and possible complication will be disclosed and discussed prior to your procedure.   

For additional resources on surgical and non-surgical biopsies and to help build upon your overall awareness, please visit:

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