A biopsy is a medical process wherein a small amount of tissue is taken out of the body. The sample taken will be examined through a microscope so that the doctor will see any abnormal cells. If your doctor is requesting a biopsy, you don’t have to worry about anything. They are just trying to understand what is going on inside you.
What are biopsies for?
Biopsies are often used to diagnose cancer. It is done if you can feel a lump or a little swelling in the body with no possible cause. A biopsy is conducted to determine where exactly the cancer cell is located.
Inflamed organs can also be seen after a biopsy. It identifies the particular cells that are affected as well as the specific reason for the inflammation.
It can further assess the condition of a current disease too. It also determines the stage and type of cancer so that your doctor can provide you with the best course of treatment for you.
Different types of biopsies
- Punch biopsy. This is done to diagnose different kinds of skin conditions. A small hole is punched by an instrument to remove a sample of skin.
- Needle biopsy. This is done for organs that are underneath the skin. A long needle is inserted through the skin to reach the kidney, thyroid, liver and bone marrow.
- Endoscopic biopsy. A thin flexible telescope is used to view different organs. A biopsy of a tissue is taken during this procedure. An example of which is gastroscopy.
- Perioperative biopsy. This is done during surgery wherein the surgeon takes a small amount of tissue and examines it for a few minutes. It aids doctors to asses how they shall proceed with the operation.
Who should undergo a biopsy?
The best person to assess if a patient needs to undergo a biopsy is an internist or an organ specialist. It can also be used to check for another type of diseases that may be a side effect of an existing treatment. Before a biopsy is performed, it may be necessary for the patient to undergo a private scan in London to assess which organ should undergo the biopsy.
If your doctor suspects that your current condition is worsening, they may also request a biopsy. The result of the biopsy can help doctors to provide you with a much better course of treatment to enhance your condition.
Risks and complications
There are only 2 major risks of biopsy – bleeding and infection. Bleeding is normal, especially if a cut is necessary. Infections may be prevented by inducing medication prior to the procedure. A patient may also experience nausea, fever, vomiting and excruciating pain. If in case you feel any of these, inform your doctor immediately.
Aside from those mentioned above, there are several reasons as to why a doctor might request a biopsy. So next time your doctor requests you to undergo such a procedure, don’t think its cancer. They might just want to further understand what is going on in your body.