Skin Biopsy Services from Laser Lipo and Vein Center
A skin biopsy procedure is a technique where a skin lesion, such as a mole or other skin growth, is removed and then examined in a lab to determine if it is cancerous.
There are three main types of biopsy procedures including:
- Shave biopsy — a tool similar to a razor removes a small section of the top layers of the skin.
- Punch biopsy — a circular tool is used by the doctor to remove a small section of the skin (including deeper layers).
- Excisional biopsy — during this type of biopsy, a scalpel is used to remove the entire area of abnormal mole or skin.
Shave Biopsy DiagramThese biopsy procedures are usually done under a simple local anesthetic.
Punch Biopsy Diagram
A skin biopsy is performed to either rule out or diagnose skin conditions and diseases, including cancer. It is also used to remove skin lesions. It can also help treat conditions such as:
- Dermatitis and other inflammatory conditions
- Acetinic keratosis and precancerous lesions
- Suspicious moles
- Abnormal skin tags or growths
Excision Biopsy Diagram
Skin biopsy procedures are generally considered safe; however, some people may experience bleeding, bruising, scarring or infection.
After the biopsy, the sample will be sent to a pathology lab for testing. Results can take a couple of days or even a couple of weeks. Your test results will be discussed and should any treatment be required, this will also be discussed as well.
How to Prepare for a Biopsy
If it is determined that you need to undergo a skin biopsy, you should tell your doctor about any allergies to medications, especially if you have allergies to local anesthetics. You should also tell your doctor about any other medications you may be taking or if you have any bleeding problems.
After the procedure, you may require some stitches. Your doctor will let you know how to properly care for the biopsy site to ensure proper healing.
It is important to undergo a skin biopsy as soon as you and your physician have identified any concern about a mole or other skin condition. Early detection of cancer is important, because with early detection, you have a much higher chance of a complete cure.
As a cosmetic surgeon and dermatologist in St. Louis, MO, Dr. Thomas Wright understands how important early detection is. If you are at risk for skin cancer or have other skin lesions that are causing you concern, please call us today to set up an appointment.