A biopsy is a minor invasive procedure where doctors take a piece of the diseased tissue, preserve it and sent it to a laboratory where it is examined under a microscope. It helps in identifying the abnormalities in the tissue obtained and diagnosing the disease.
It involves a multidisciplinary approach of doctors which involves an Anesthetist who after evaluation, numbs the affected area with one of the different types of anesthetic drugs like local or regional anesthesia. A Surgeon then takes the tissue biopsy sample and a technician preserves it in an appropriate medium for transport to the laboratory. A Pathologist/ Histopathologist is the one who studies the sample under the microscope and prepares a Histopathology report. The patient is referred back to the Consultant who ordered the biopsy and if the disease turns out to be any tumor, the patient is referred to an Oncologist.
Types of Biopsy
There are multiple kinds of biopsy taking techniques:
- Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology (FNAC) is the technique where a small sample is taken from the skin with the help of a syringe. It shows cells.
- Tru Cut biopsy is a procedure where patient’s skin is injected with local anesthesia to numb the area and then a relatively larger area is taken – with a special needle – as biopsy, which shows groups of cells called a tissue.
- Wedge biopsy is taken in a similar way from a skin lesion in a wedge-shaped fashion with the help of a surgical blade.
- A visceral biopsy is where a large needle is injected through the skin to a specific organ to obtain biopsies like Kidneys, Liver and Prostate gland.
- Bone biopsy and bone marrow biopsy are done for the identification of different cancers.
- Ultrasound or CT guided biopsies are done when the area is deep and poses a risk for trauma to surrounding structures while taking a blind biopsy.
- Open surgical or laparoscopic biopsies are done for deep-seated complicated biopsies.
Prerequisites of Biopsy Sampling
As it is an invasive procedure, there are a few requisitions that have to be made in order to save from any trouble. Complete blood picture, Coagulation profile and Hepatitis B and C screening are a few to name them. If the patient has any bleeding disorder, biopsy should not be done unless pints of whole blood are at hand.
Biopsy Consent Form
As for any other medical or surgical procedure, consent is an essential step before taking a biopsy. A consent form should constitute of the following:
- Introduction of the patient including his name, father’s name/ spouse’s name, age, sex, hospital registration number, blood group.
- Detail of procedure; duration, method, level of exposure and possible complications.
- Post operative care, consequences and follow up.
- Information regarding usage of any anesthetic drugs and their per operative and post-operative effects.
- Signature of the patient with full name and identity. In cases of pediatric or geriatric patients, close relatives like parents, siblings or children may sign the consent document.
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