What is Biopsy

What is Biopsy?
What is Biopsy?

Biopsy is an invasive medical procedure in which a sample of tissue is removed from the body for examination. This tissue sample is then examined by a pathologist, a specialized doctor who diagnoses diseases by analyzing cells and tissues under a microscope. Biopsies are crucial for diagnosing underlying pathologies or diseases, as they provide valuable insights into the nature of abnormal tissue.

Why Are Biopsies Done?

Biopsies are performed to diagnose underlying diseases, especially when non-invasive tests such as MRI, X-ray, or CT scans are inconclusive. They are particularly useful for confirming cancerous growths or lesions, determining the extent of diseases like hepatitis or cirrhosis, and assessing organ rejection after transplantation. Biopsies help clinicians make informed decisions about the most appropriate treatment options.

Types of Biopsies

There are various methods of performing biopsies, all involving the removal of a small amount of tissue using a sharp tool. Some common types include:

1. Needle biopsy: Fine or thick needles are used to access suspicious tissues, often for breast or organ samples.
2. CT-guided biopsy: This procedure uses CT scanning to guide the needle accurately to the targeted tissue.
3. Ultrasound-guided biopsy: Similar to CT-guided biopsy, ultrasound imaging helps guide the needle to the precise location of the lesion.
4. Bone biopsy: Conducted to detect bone cancers, this may be done under CT guidance by an orthopedic surgeon.
5. Bone marrow biopsy: Involves extracting bone marrow from the pelvic bone to diagnose blood diseases like leukemia or lymphoma.
6. Skin biopsy: Punch biopsy is common for diagnosing skin diseases, involving the removal of tissue from the top layers of the skin.
7. Surgical biopsy: Involves open or laparoscopic surgery to obtain tissue samples for examination.

What Happens After the Biopsy?

After the tissue sample is obtained, it is preserved and sent to a pathologist for analysis. The time for biopsy results to come varies, with some surgical biopsies providing immediate feedback to the surgeon. Final biopsy reports may take a week or longer to complete. Your doctor will discuss the results with you during follow-up appointments and recommend appropriate treatment based on the findings.