A Biopsy is a simple medical procedure, done in order to analyze a tissue, taken from the body, more closely. It is normally recommended by a physician if an initial test suggests some abnormality in a given tissue or region of the body.
The abnormal tissue concerned can either be called as a lesion, a tumor or a mass by a doctor. These names essentially indicate the anomalous nature of these tissues. Such a doubtful case may come up during a physical examination or test done on internal organs such an imaging test.
In most cases, a biopsy is performed to check for any signs of cancer. But it can also help in bringing to light many other conditions and anomalies too.
Usually a doctor recommends a biopsy when she wants to further investigate a medical question which a biopsy could answer. A few instances can be given below:
In few cases, a biopsy of normal tissues could also be performed to check for the spread of cancer or to analyze if a transplanted organ has been rejected. In any case a biopsy helps to understand a problem more closely and to find its solution.
Biopsies are of many different kinds and almost all of them involves using a sharp instrument like a needle. If the procedure is to be performed on the skin or any sensitive area, the process will usually be associated with numbing the region with a medicine
Some different types of biopsies can be mentioned below:
The ease or difficulty accessing a suspicious tissue determine the type of biopsy. The term used in medicine for this is invasiveness. A biopsy involving a minimal procedure can be done in the doctor's office only, where a small dose of numbing injection can make the process almost painless.
A biopsy involving advanced procedures or more invasion can be done in hospitals, a surgical center or a doctor's office furnished with all the necessary equipment. The procedure may also involve administering sedatives or pain reliving medicines. For this you may have to take an appointment separately.
The area from where the biopsy sample is taken may feel sore for some days. Some pain reliving medicines can be taken on the prescription of doctor to subside the discomfort arising from biopsy procedure.
After the sample has been collected, it is handed over to a pathologist. Pathologists are doctors who specialize in analyzing bodily samples to detect any abnormality in shape, size, texture or any other parameter. Usually one comes to know about the problem by measuring these parameters only. It usually take some time for results to come. During a surgery, a pathologist may have to report the result as soon as possible. In most cases, it may take a week or more to arrive at accurate results. Post this, one may have to follow up with their doctor to review up these results.
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