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The word “biopsy” can sometimes evoke fear and concern in people but it really should be thought of as just another test, like getting a blood test, a CT or MRI. A biopsy is taking a small sample of tissue and sending it to a specialist to be evaluated to determine an accurate diagnosis. In the majority of cases, the results from the biopsy can help direct the physician on the proper recommended pathway to further treat the condition.
When Should It Be Done?
A biopsy is recommended whenever there is a question as to what the actual diagnosis of the skin condition is or when there has been a development of a new skin lesion or when the current treatment of a condition is not successful. The sampling of the skin is a quick in office procedure that requires little post procedure care and has very minimal risk of infection or other complications. A small area of the lesion or skin condition to be evaluated is numbed with anesthetic and then a very small piece of the skin is removed. So small, in fact, that stitches are not even required. A bandage is then applied which can be removed the next day and the area can just be treated with topical antibiotic and a bandaid. The biopsy is sent to a certified skin pathologist and the results are usually available 1 to 2 weeks later at which time you would follow up in our office to review the diagnosis and discuss definitive treatment plans.
What to Do Next?
Never let a skin lesion or skin condition go untreated or undiagnosed. If you see something, say something and make an appointment to be properly evaluated. The earlier something is managed, the easier it may be treat. Call for an appointment today.