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Skin Biopsy

(En español, presione aquí)

 What is a skin biopsy?
 When is it used?
 How do I prepare for this procedure?
 What happens during the procedure?
 What happens after the procedure?
 What are the risks of this procedure?

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KEY POINTS

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What is a skin biopsy?

A skin biopsy is the removal of a small piece of skin for testing. After the skin is removed, it is sent to a lab where it is examined under a microscope or tested.

When is it used?

A skin biopsy may be done to diagnose or help treat skin problems such as:

Ask your healthcare provider about your choices for treatment and the risks.

How do I prepare for this procedure?

What happens during the procedure?

This procedure is done in your healthcare provider’s office or at a clinic.

Your healthcare provider may numb your skin with a spray or shot of local anesthetic to keep you from feeling pain during the biopsy.

There are different ways to do a skin biopsy.

What happens after the procedure?

You may have some soreness around the biopsy area for 1 or 2 weeks. You may have a small scar from the biopsy.

Follow your provider's instructions for taking care of your wound. Ask your healthcare provider:

Make sure you know when you should come back for a checkup. Keep all appointments for provider visits or tests.

What are the risks of this procedure?

Every procedure or treatment has risks. Some possible risks of this procedure include:

Ask your healthcare provider how these risks apply to you. Be sure to discuss any other questions or concerns that you may have.

healthinformatics info

References

Pickett, H. (2011) Shave and Punch Biopsy for Skin Lesions. Am Fam Physician;84(9):995-1002.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003840.htm accessed 03/15/12.

Reszko A, Aasi SZ, Wilson LD, et al.: Cancer of the skin. In: DeVita VT Jr, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA: Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2011, pp 1610-33.



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Last Modified: 2015-02-18

Last Reviewed: 2015-02-18

Website Updated: August 2015

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This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.


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