How It Feels
You will feel brief stinging pain when
the local anesthetic is injected. You should not feel any pain when the skin
sample is removed.
Although unlikely, there is a slight risk of
infection and a slight risk of persistent bleeding. If you usually form scars
after skin injuries or surgery, you could develop a scar at the biopsy
After the procedure
Your doctor will give you
specific instructions on how to care for your biopsy site. Keep the biopsy site
clean and dry until it heals completely.
Your stitches will be
taken out 3 to 14 days after the biopsy, depending on the biopsy site. Adhesive
bandages should remain in place until they fall off. This usually takes from 7
to 14 days.
The biopsy site may be sore or bleed slightly for
several days. Ask your doctor how much bleeding or other drainage is expected.
Call your doctor immediately if you have:
- Excessive bleeding or drainage through the
bandage. If excessive bleeding occurs, apply pressure to the biopsy site and
contact your doctor.
- Increased tenderness, pain, redness, or swelling at the biopsy
- A fever.
biopsy is a procedure in which a sample of skin tissue
is removed, processed, and examined under a microscope.
from a skin biopsy usually are available in 3 to 10 days.
The skin sample consists of normal skin
Noncancerous (benign) growths are seen.
Benign growths do not contain cancer cells. Benign skin changes include moles,
cherry angiomas, and benign skin tumors, such as
neurofibromas or dermatofibromas.
Cancer cells such as
basal cell cancer,
squamous cell cancer, or
melanoma are present.
Other diseases such as
vasculitis are present.
fungal infection is present.
Your doctor will talk with you about
any abnormal results that may be related to your symptoms and past health.
What Affects the Test
Taking medicines, such as
anti-inflammatory medicines, those used for fungal infections (antifungal
corticosteroid skin creams, can interfere with your
test or the accuracy of the results.
What To Think About
- If the biopsy contains cancer cells, more
surgery will be needed to remove the cancer completely.
- If the
biopsy is done on your face, you may want to have it done by a doctor who
specializes in surgical techniques that can minimize scarring, such as a
plastic surgeon or
- Further testing may be
- A small biopsy does not contain enough
cells to make an accurate diagnosis.
- Cells from the abnormal area
weren't included in the sample.
- The growth or skin rash changes after the first biopsy.