Biopsies are tissue samples taken from the body for closer analysis. A biopsy may be necessary if an examination suggests possible abnormalities in some area of the body, such as the skin, breast, thyroid, or liver. A biopsy may be ordered to rule out or identify cancer and many other health conditions.
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.