Biopsy

Biopsy

Biopsy are performed to diagnose skin cancer and other skin diseases

When it is necessary to accurately diagnose a skin condition a biopsy will be suggested. This will be done on suspicious lesions or to definitively diagnose a skin condition.

After performing a biopsy, the suspicious specimens will be sent to a laboratory approved by your insurance for processing. Results are communicated to you by phone within a 7 days. Some results can take up to 2 weeks if special stains are requested by the pathologist.

During a biopsy the area is numbed with a local anesthetic and a small piece of tissue from the area to be analyzed is removed. Minimal to no bleeding is expected, any oozing will be dealt with using topical product or electric cautery.

There are three types of biopsies that we perform in our office based on the type, location, and size of the lesion. They are shave, punch, and excisional biopsy.

A shave biopsy is a technique using a small flexible blade to shave the surface of the lesion for analysis. Shave biopsies are typically used for superficial lesions of the skin. Local anesthetic is injected under and around the lesion to be removed. Shave biopsy sites do not require stitches and will heal on their own with minimal to no downtime.

When performing a punch biopsy we utilize a small device with a sharp circular edge to obtain a slightly deeper sample of tissue. Punch biopsies are used to analyze tissue below the visible skin surface. A few stitches might be required for this type of biopsy. The site is anesthetized with lidocaine and a 2 to 3mm punch biopsy instrument is used to extract the skin sample. The subject feels a slight pressure, but no pain. The sample is removed and preserved in a fixative. Antibiotic ointment and a band-aid are sufficient.

When performing a punch biopsy we utilize a small device with a sharp circular edge to obtain a slightly deeper sample of tissue. Punch biopsies are used to analyze tissue below the visible skin surface. A few stitches might be required for this type of biopsy. The site is anesthetized with lidocaine and a 2 to 3mm punch biopsy instrument is used to extract the skin sample. The subject feels a slight pressure, but no pain. The sample is removed and preserved in a fixative. Antibiotic ointment and a band-aid are sufficient.

To perform an excisional biopsy, a surgical scalpel is used to excise a small portion of the tissue for analysis. Excisional biopsies are used for larger, deeper lesions. Stitches are required for this type of biopsy.

Wound Care instructions following a biopsy