A biopsy is a diagnostic procedure in which a sample of living tissue or cells is removed with a tiny needle to be examined by a pathologist, a doctor specially trained in tissue identification. Many types of tissue can be biopsied including skin, bone, organs and other soft tissue. The sample of tissue is usually examined under a microscope to determine if it is healthy or if it shows any kind of disease or abnormality. In many cases, the use of medical imaging such as MRI, mammography or ultrasound is used to guide the doctor in performing the biopsy to help pinpoint the tissue, organ or bone under observation.
A biopsy may be recommended to find out whether a suspicious mass is cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign). In some cases, it may be the only way to accurately diagnose a lump or swelling. A biopsy can also help to identify whether there is an infection and what is causing it.
When scheduling your appointment, provide us with your email address and we will send you personalized forms with your information already filled in. You will only have to update or add any missing information. If your email address is not provided, you can still save time by downloading the Registration forms and completing them prior to arriving at the office. You will need to eat a light meal prior to your exam.
Do not take Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin or Aleve for one week prior to your appointment. If you take Coumadin, Plavix or any other blood thinners, you must get approval from your doctor to stop the medication one week prior to your biopsy. Also avoid fish oil and high doses of vitamins (except for prenatals).
On the day of the appointment, do not apply deodorant, perfume, cream, powder or lotion on the breast or underarm areas. If possible, wear a full cup support bra or sports bra for after your exam and either a zipper or button-down top. Eating and drinking is okay. Patients may take their cardiac medications or blood pressure medications on the day of the exam with very little water.
Eat light meals on the day of your exam. Bring a snack for after the procedure. Arrange for a driver to take you to and from the appointment. Someone must stay with you overnight at home after the procedure.
Plan to arrive 30 mins prior to your scheduled appointment time. Present your prescription, insurance card and completed forms at the front desk. If any additional forms are required, they will be given to you at this time.
The tissue sample is sent to a lab where it is analyzed by a board certified pathologist. The findings are then sent to us, as well as to your referring doctor. One of our board certified radiologists reviews the pathology report and dictates a final report which is transcribed, proofread and signed. The final report is faxed and mailed to your referring doctor. Your doctor will read the report and review the findings with you.
Please Note: There may be a separate fee for the pathology portion.