Excision Biopsy

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What is an excision biopsy?

An excision biopsy is a procedure for complete removal of a lump or abnormal area from the skin or other part of the body. The tissue is then sent to a lab for tests.

When is it used?

An excision biopsy is done to look for cancer, infection, and inflammation. It is often used to confirm a diagnosis. In some cases it may also be done to treat a problem, such as removal of a small skin cancer.

What are the benefits of this procedure?

The procedure helps in diagnosis of cancer, infection, and inflammation. You and your health care provider can then decide on a treatment plan.

What are the risks associated with this procedure?

The local anesthetic may not numb the area quite enough and you may feel some minor discomfort. If this happens, more anesthetic will be used. Also, in rare cases, you may have an allergic reaction to the drug used in this type of anesthesia. Additional risks include:

  • You may have bruising around the biopsy site.
  • You may have infection and bleeding.

How do I prepare for an excision biopsy?

Your health care provider will tell you how to prepare for the procedure. Ask your provider when and how you will be informed of the results.

What happens after the procedure?

Recovery may vary depending on the biopsy location. In all cases and locations, keep the area of the cut dry. Do not put lotion, medicine, or ointment on it unless instructed to do so by your health care provider. You will be instructed about any other wound care and when to return for suture removal. Unless your provider tells you otherwise, there is nothing else you need to do.

The results of the lab tests will be available in 1 to 3 days or longer, depending on the type of tests that are done. Ask your provider when to call for results of the biopsy.

When should I call Greenville OB/GYN?

Call our emergency number at any time if:

  • You have a fever over 100 F (37.8 C).
  • You have any change or worsening of pain or symptoms.
  • You have any unusual drainage from the biopsy site, including bloody drainage.
  • The biopsy site becomes red and warm.

Call during regular office hours if:

  • You have questions about the procedure or its result.
  • You want to make another appointment.

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