Who is a candidate for a biopsy?

Biopsies for the breast, thyroid, and liver are recommended to help answer important medical questions. For example, your doctor may order a biopsy:

  • If a mole on your skin has recently changed shape
  • If a lump or mass in your breast showed up on a mammogram
  • To check for cirrhosis of the liver if you have chronic hepatitis

What is a breast biopsy?

During your breast biopsy in Mount Vernon and Centralia, IL, a small piece of tissue is removed from the breast. This sample of tissue is sent to our office lab for testing. The tissue is removed with a special biopsy needle while you are awake. You should experience little discomfort and no scarring on your breast. However, if you have dense breast tissue or abnormalities near the chest wall or behind the nipple, the procedure may be more uncomfortable, and you should expect some sensitivity. Once the tissue is removed and sent to our lab, it is checked to determine if cancer or other abnormal cells are present.

What is a liver biopsy?

A liver biopsy is a small tissue sample carefully taken from the liver with a needle for closer study and analysis. 

A liver biopsy is usually recommended if there are liver test results that can't be explained, a mass or other abnormalities are detected, or there are other physical concerns that indicate there may be a problem with the liver, such as ongoing, unexplained fevers.

Liver biopsies are also commonly performed to help diagnose liver diseases and stages of diseases, including hepatitis B or C, nonalcoholic/alcoholic liver disease, cirrhosis, and others.

Why choose us for biopsies?

Advanced Surgical Technology is a multidisciplinary practice, offering a range of general surgery and vascular surgery services and primary care, cosmetics, and aesthetics. When you come to our office for a biopsy, our office-based lab could make the process quicker and more convenient. It is our priority to provide you with superior surgical services and the highest level of comprehensive care.

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What can I expect with a biopsy in Mount Vernon, Centralia and Herrin?

There are many different types of biopsies. What you can expect during the procedure will depend on where the suspicious tissue is located and the type of biopsy performed.

Needle biopsy

Most biopsies are needle biopsies. In this procedure, a needle is used to obtain a sample of the tissue.

Skin biopsy

Most skin biopsies are minimally invasive procedures performed in the doctor’s office with a local anesthetic. The punch biopsy is a common technique that uses a circular blade to obtain a cylindrical skin tissue sample.

Surgical biopsy

Laparoscopic or open surgery may be used to remove an area of tissue for examination in the lab. A surgical biopsy might be performed on the breast if the results of a needle biopsy were uncertain.

Liver biopsy

A needle is injected through the skin of the abdomen into the liver to obtain a tissue sample.

Thyroid biopsy

Ultrasound-guided aspiration biopsy may be performed on the thyroid. Using the guidance of an ultrasound scanner, the surgeon uses a fine needle to withdraw suspicious material.

Is there any recovery time after a biopsy?

Your recovery time will depend on the type of biopsy performed. Less invasive procedures will require little to no downtime. More invasive procedures, such as surgical biopsy, may require you to take some time away from work and activities.


Does a biopsy hurt?

If you have a needle biopsy, you may feel a sharp pinch at the site when the needle is inserted. For a surgical biopsy, you will have an injection of a local anesthetic to numb the area and may be given a sedative before or during the procedure. The area may be sore for a few days. Any discomfort can be controlled with pain medication.

What happens to the tissue sample after a biopsy?

The tissue is sent to a lab for analysis and examined by a pathologist using a microscope. (In some cases, the doctor collecting the tissue will examine the tissue sample and diagnose the condition.) When the process is complete, the pathologist will send a full report to your doctor.

What are the benefits of a needle biopsy?

Needle biopsy is a reliable technique for obtaining a tissue sample to help a doctor determine whether a nodule is malignant or benign. It is less invasive than other biopsy methods and does not require anesthesia. The risk of infection is low. The procedure is not typically painful, and there is little or no recovery time.

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