Types of Biopsy
Salt Lake City, Tooele and Price, Utah
A biopsy is when a doctor takes a small sample of cells or tissue to examine under a microscope. A pathologist then examines these cells to see if they are cancerous or benign. There are several different ways of taking a biopsy.
This quick test, also called a “fine needle aspiration cytology or FNAC” is done in the outpatient clinic. During this procedure, the doctor uses a fine needle and syringe to extract a sample of cells.
Also called a “core biopsy,” this procedure is more common than a needle aspiration. A needle biopsy uses a slightly larger needle than the fine needle aspiration and is performed under a local anesthetic. This type of biopsy is particularly useful because a pathologist can then see the type of cells that replace the piece of tissue that has been removed. This allows the doctor to determine whether the cancer is invasive or non-invasive.
An excision or “surgical biopsy” is performed under a general anesthetic. A doctor performs a minor operation to remove the entire organ or the whole lump. This procedure is less common today as it is being replaced with the needle aspiration.
This is performed the same way as the excision biopsy, but only a portion of the lump is surgically removed. This type of biopsy is most common with tumors of the soft tissue (muscle, fat, and connective tissue).
Doctors usually use this technique if you have calcium specks showing up on your mammogram but no clear lump. In these cases, the surgeon can’t really see what needs to be removed with the naked eye. So during a mammogram or ultrasound, the doctor puts a fine wire into the suspicious area to mark the area of tissue that needs to be biopsied.
This gynecological procedure is used to evaluate a patient who has had an abnormal pap smear. This procedure uses a close-focusing telescope to allow the doctor to see abnormal areas on the cervix and uterus, so that the proper area can be removed and sent to the lab.
This is performed by dermatologists to sample skin masses. Under local anesthetic, your doctor will remove a small circle of tissue to biopsy. The hole is closed with a suture and heals with little scarring.
Bone marrow biopsy
Where there are abnormal blood counts including a high white cell count or low platelet count, the cells in the bone marrow must be examined. The sample is usually taken from the pelvic bone — from the posterior superior iliac spine.
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