What Is Biopsy?
The medical procedure of extracting tissue samples from the human body and examining them in labs in order to determine the extent of the disease is known as biopsy. Tissues from the suspected or disease affected part of the body can be removed with a minor surgery. These samples are then studied under the light microscopes in the pathology laboratories with the help of various stains. A biopsy can be performed by a surgeon, a radiologist or even a pathologist.
Medical Conditions that Require a Biopsy:
- Temporal artery specimen in case of a suspected case of vasculitis
- Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis cases where a continuous monitoring of the intestinal mucosa needs to be done in order to rule out malignancy
- Kidney specimens are needed in cases of chronic glomerulonephritis and renal cell carcinomas
- Lymph node removal as a part of biopsy procedures are also done to find out about their involvement in the malignancy or in cases of infectious diseases
- In cases of amyloidosis where there is excessive production as well as deposition of proteins in the body, the affected part of the body is the site for biopsy sample in order to study the nature and extent of protein depositions
- At times, biopsy of organs to be transplanted are also done to rule out the possibility of transmitting any infectious diseases to the donor or the chance of rejection by the donor body
- A bone biopsy is done in cases where bone cancers are in suspicion
- Bone marrow biopsies are also done in cases of leukemias and lymphomas where the abnormalities in the blood cell types need to be studied
- Breast cancer cases require biopsy of the lump/nodule in order to detect the extent and nature of the cancer
- Cancers of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon and rectum require biopsy procedures to determine the extent of malignancy
- Cirrhosis of liver and lung cancers need a biopsy to analyze the viability and health of the remaining tissues
- Biopsy is also done for the lesions of the skin where malignancy of the same is suspected
- Cancers of the prostate, uterus and cervix also call for a biopsy
- Biopsy of the lesions in the brain can also be studied with the help of a biopsy protocol
Procedure for Biopsy:
- Any type of biopsy will require only you to co operate for a few minutes, local anesthesia may or may not be administered
- Also, conscious sedation may or may not be given depending upon the anxiety and apprehension of the patent. Once this is given, the patient remains calm and relaxed throughout the procedure
- A needle will be inserted into the lesion at the site of the disease and the contents aspirated
- A surgical blade or a scalpel may also be sued to scrape or remove the lesion form the surface of the skin
- Imaging techniques such as a CT, MRI or an ultrasound can also be used to guide the needle towards the lesion. This will however take a few hours time.
- You will be discharged on the same day since the biopsy procedures are routinely done in the outpatient department areas or in the radiological centers
Types of Biopsy:
- Aspiration biopsy: This is also called as fine needle aspiration biopsy. It is done for cases where the mass has more of liquid contents.
- Bone biopsy: As the name suggests, it the biopsy of the bone in cases of bone cancer
- Bone marrow biopsy: Cancers of the bone marrow can be diagnosed with the help of the bone marrow biopsy
- CT guided biopsy: A computed tomography is used to guide the biopsy procedure towards the lesion to be extracted. This is done for lesions of the brain, kidney and the liver.
- Core needle biopsy: This type of biopsy uses a large needle for the collection of the tissue sample
- Endoscopic biopsy: This is an endoscopic assisted biopsy where an endoscope is also inserted along with the biopsy needle in order to guide the needle to the correct site of tissue removal
- Excision biopsy: This is similar to a surgical biopsy where the entire lesion or lump is removed if the size or extent is very small. Along with this lesion a part of healthy surrounding tissue is also removed so as to prevent the recurrence of the lesion.
- Liquid biopsy: This is quite a recent advancement in the field of biopsy. This involves collection of blood and lymph from the site of cancer and then studying it in labs for various tissue and cancer markers
- Laparoscopic biopsy: This is used for cases of abdomen. It is quite similar to the endoscopic biopsy wherein an endoscope is inserted along with the biopsy needle through the small incision made in the abdomen area
- Needle biopsy: This is the simplest type of biopsy. A needle is used to carry out the biopsy procedure.
- Punch biopsy: A sharp circular tool is inserted below the surface of the skin in order to scrape the lesion. Since the tool creates a blunt punch in the skin surface, the biopsy is known as a punch biopsy
- Surgical biopsy: In this procedure, the entire lump/nodule/lesion is removed as a part of the surgical procedure.
- Shave biopsy: It is used for skin lesion removal where a sharp tool is used for the same
- Ultrasound guided biopsy: In this procedure, an ultrasound is used to help in the insertion and guide the biopsy needle towards the lesion to be removed
- Vaccum assisted biopsy: This procedure makes use of suction in order to evacuate the lesion or its contents such as in cases of uterine and/or cervical cancers
Complications And Risk Factors Associated With Biopsy:
- Numbness around the site of biopsy
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Puncture damage to nearby organs
- Bruises and pain in and around the area of biopsy
- In very rare cases, a cancer may become malignant after the biopsy has been done, this being attributed to the needle that may be the source of the spreading of the cancer
Am I Good Candidate For Biopsy?
You are an ideal candidate for biopsy if you fall in any of the below criteria:
- Imaging techniques show lesions in your brain, breast, liver, lung or kidney, mouth
- You have been a suspected case of stomach, colon, rectal, cervical or uterine cancer
- Your lymph nodes are enlarged, inflamed and tender
- You have typical skin lesions, a biopsy will help in the most accurate diagnosis of the disease
A minimum of two months are required for the proper healing at the site of biopsy. However this also depends upon the overall health of the patient as well
The success rate depends upon the size and the gauge of the needle that is used for the biopsy procedure. Biopsy procedures generally have a success rate of 73 to 87 percent. There are chances that the needle may break due to excessive pressure; also it may not aspirate the entire contents. These add to the failures of the biopsy procedure and call for another one.
Benefits Of Biopsy:
A biopsy procedure will help you in the following ways as follows:
- Help determine the type of lesion
- Help in the detection of the nature and extent of the lesion
- Help in the proper diagnosis and treatment planning of the disease
Cost Comparisons for Biopsy:
Biopsy procedures can cost you anywhere around 500 to 5000 INR here in India depending upon the extent of the lesion and the type of biopsy the surgeon needs. This amount is in peanuts as compared to what you will be required to pay in the US/UK/Australia
Why choose India?:
India is one of the most versatile lands in the field of medical treatment with team MedcureIndia being an ardently dedicated platform for medical tourism. Various types of diseases in different types of stages find their cures and treatments here due to their apt detection with the help of biopsy procedures. You not only will be charged less, but also be rest assured with the treatment outcome.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
- For how long will I have to be in the hospital for biopsy?
A minimum 30 minutes to maximum two hours will be required for the procedure to complete. You can go home on the same day and resume all your activities
The procedure can be considered to be mildly discomforting; this also depends upon the host responses
- Will I be awake during the biopsy procedure?
You will be mildly sedated for you to be totally relaxed and calm while the procedure is being carried out. However not all the biopsy procedures need to be carried out in this fashion
- How does imaging technique clubbed with biopsy help?
Imaging techniques such as CT, MRI, USG help to guide the needle towards the site of the lesion which needs to be removed.