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Reasons for Procedure
- Normal tissue, no abnormalities
- Irritated tissue
- Not normal, but difficult to interpret
- Not normal, not cancerous, but a precancerous condition
- Excessive bleeding
- Results that are difficult to interpret
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen
- Blood thinners, such as warfarin
- Anti-platelets, such as clopidogrel
- General anesthesia is given through an IV to block pain and keep you asleep through the procedure.
- Local anesthesia is given as an injection to numb the area being operated on.
Description of the Procedure
- Needle biopsy —cells are removed using a thin needle
- Aspiration biopsy —cells are drawn out with a hollow needle that uses suction
- Core needle biopsy —a sample of tissue is removed using a hollow core needle that has a special cutting edge
- Vacuum-assisted biopsy —a number of samples of tissue are taken using a special rotating probe
- Endoscopic biopsy —the area is viewed with a long, thin tube that has a lighted camera on one end; a tool is passed through the tube to take the biopsy sample
- Incisional biopsy —a portion of a mass is removed by cutting it out
- Excisional biopsy —a mass is completely removed, such as a breast lump
- Punch biopsy —a core of skin is removed with a special biopsy tool
- Skin biopsy —a small piece of skin is cut off with a scalpel
- Shave biopsy —top layers of skin are shaved off with a special blade
- Bone marrow biopsy —a long needle is inserted into the bone marrow to collect cells
|Bone Marrow Biopsy|
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How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- Take pain medication as directed by your doctor.
- Ask your doctor when you should change the bandages.
- Ask your doctor when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
- If you have stitches, have them removed when instructed.
Call Your Doctor
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the biopsy site
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Pain that you cannot control with the medication you have been given
- New or worsening symptoms
American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org
American College of Surgeons http://www.facs.org/patienteducation/index.html
Canadian Cancer Society http://cancer.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Biopsy. Radiological Society of North America Radiology Info website. Available at: http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/sitemap/modal-alias.cfm?modal=biop. Accessed May 21, 2013.
Schoonjans JM, Brem RF. Fourteen-gauge ultrasonographically guided core-needle biopsy of breast masses. J Ultrasound Med . 2001;20:967-972.
What you need to know about cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/cancer/page6. Published October 4, 2006. Accessed May 21, 2013.
6/3/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com : Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med . 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.
- Reviewer: Igor Puzanov, MD; Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 05/2013
- Update Date: 03/18/2013