What you need to know about private biopsies
A biopsy is a medical procedure that involves the removal of a small sample of body tissue that’s then taken away for examination by a specialist. The sample can be taken from almost anywhere on the body – depending on the purpose of the biopsy – including from the skin or organs.
There are a number of different types of biopsy that can be carried out, depending on what type of body tissue needs to be examined. Common types include a punch biopsy where a small skin sample is collected, a fine needle biopsy to obtain tissue from organs using a hollow needle, and an excision biopsy where a larger section of tissue is removed through surgery.
Before any biopsy is performed, however, it’s common for a CT or MRI scan to be carried out to investigate the sample area and guide the decision-making process. It’s also general practice to apply local anaesthetic to the area of the body that the biopsy sample will be taken from or, more rarely, general anaesthetics.
Once a tissue sample is taken through the chosen biopsy procedure, it will be examined either on-site or in a specialist lab under a microscope. This process helps to identify the nature of the medical problem that’s being investigated, and can often lead directly to a diagnosis.
Biopsies are most often performed for unresolved medical conditions that may not currently be symptomatic or visible from the surface. That includes cancer, organ inflammation, lymph node infections, and skin conditions. The microscopic analysis of the biopsy sample can help to identify abnormal cells, helping with the diagnosis process or providing further information that can be used to evaluate how severe the condition is.
Results from a biopsy are usually available within a few days, depending on the practice you visit, but it’s sometimes necessary to send the results away to a specialist for further analysis. Regardless of how long it takes, though, the findings can be invaluable in determining the nature or severity of a condition.
If you need a private biopsy, whether it’s for suspected cancer or a known medical condition, you can find a professional near you with My Health Assistant and book directly through our platform.