Biopsy

INDICATIONS:
• To clarify the benign or malign nature of a skin lesion;
• To stablish the diagnosis of skin lesions.

Biopsy is a procedure in which a small fragment of the skin, scalp or mucosa is removed for pathological analysis in order to diagnose a dermatological disease or tumor.

INDICATIONS:
• To clarify the benign or malign nature of a skin lesion;
• To stablish the diagnosis of skin lesions.

Biopsy is a procedure in which a small fragment of the skin, scalp or mucosa is removed for pathological analysis in order to diagnose a dermatological disease or tumor.

Skin biopsies are performed in the office under local anesthesia. There are different techniques for performing skin biopsy. The choice of the different techniques is dependent on the suspected diagnosis of the skin lesion.

 

Biopsy techniques:

• Punch: a cylindrical device with a cutting surface similar to a pen is used. When rotated, it removes a small column of skin up to the fat layer of the skin. It results in a small wound that is usually sutured.

• Shaving: a tangential cut is made to the skin with a razor or scalpel blade, removing a more superficial fragment of the skin. There is no need for suturing and healing is quick. However, it does not allow the removal of deeper parts of the skin.

• Curettage: scraping performed with a curette blade that removes small fragments of skin. It is used for small and superficial tumors. Fast and suture-free healing.

• Incisional biopsy: it is the partial removal of the lesion and aims only at diagnosis. It can be done using a punch or scalpel, in which larger and deeper skin fragments are removed. It is used to diagnose tumors, blisters, panniculitis or deep inflammatory processes.

• Excisional biopsy: it is the total removal of the lesion with a small margin of normal skin around it. It is the only biopsy technique where the analysis of surgical margins can be done safely. Indicated for tumors and melanocytic lesions. The excision is usually performed in a fusiform or ellipse format to allow a more cosmetically appropriate scar.

The skin fragment is sent to the pathologist, who issues a report with the microscopic diagnosis of the lesion.

The postoperative care indicated by the dermatologist is very important to facilitate healing and prevent infections.

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