A biopsy is the removal of a piece of tissue or a sample of cells taken from your body so that it can be analyzed for disease in a laboratory. If you’re experiencing certain signs and symptoms or if your doctor has identified an area of concern, you may undergo a biopsy to determine whether you have cancer or some other condition.
While imaging tests, such as X-rays, are helpful in detecting masses or areas of abnormality, they alone can’t differentiate cancerous cells from noncancerous cells. For the majority of cancers, the only way to make a definitive diagnosis is to perform a biopsy to collect cells for close examination. At Azura Vascular Care, our vascular specialists are trained and skilled at performing biopsies.
How is the Procedure Performed?
A biopsy is a minimally invasive procedure. Tissue is removed by placing a needle through your skin to the area of abnormality. Biopsies can be safely performed with imaging guidance such as ultrasound, or flouroscopy. These types of imaging are used to determine exactly where to place the needle and perform the biopsy.
An intravenous (IV) line will be placed into a vein in your hand or arm so that sedation or relaxation medication may be given during the procedure. You may be also given a mild sedative prior to the biopsy. A local anesthesia will be injected to numb the path of the needle.
A very small nick is made in your skin at the site where the biopsy needle is to be inserted. Using imaging guidance, your doctor will insert the needle through your skin, advance it to the site of the abnormality and remove samples of tissue. Several specimens may be needed for complete analysis. After the sampling, the needle will be removed.
Pressure will be applied to stop any bleeding and the opening in your skin is covered with a bandage. No sutures are needed. You may be taken to an observation area for several hours. An x-ray or other imaging tests may be performed to monitor for complications.
A biopsy procedure is usually completed within one hour. You may be able to return home immediately after the procedure or you may be required to stay in an observation area for several hours depending on the type of biopsy performed.
What are Some Common Biopsy Procedures?
When a lump is detected, imaging tests may be performed to help determine if it is benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). If imaging studies cannot clearly define the abnormality, a tumor biopsy may be necessary.
Biopsies are frequently used to diagnose cancer, but they can help identify other conditions such as infections and inflammatory and autoimmune disorders. They may also be done to match organ tissue before a transplant.
The following are 2 common biopsy types we perform and why they may be necessary:
- Liver biopsy is used to diagnose diseases of the liver such as hepatitis C, cirrhosis, infections and cancer. It can also be used to examine a transplanted liver for signs of transplant rejection. Liver biopsies are typically performed percutaneously by inserting a needle through the skin.
- Thyroid biopsy is used to find the cause of a lump in the thyroid gland. This type of biopsy is typically performed using a needle with ultrasound guidance.
How We Can Help You
The physicians of Azura Vascular Care are specialists in the field of vascular care. Our interventional radiologists and vascular surgeons perform minimally invasive biopsies of the liver and thyroid to help diagnose abnormalities, which will help determine the right course of care for you.
At Azura, we work every day to deliver far more than our patients expect. We bring our full range of medical capabilities and service excellence to every patient, every visit at each of our centers nationwide.
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