The term biopsy most often indicates the removal of tissue from a living subject for histological evaluation and analysis. It is important for the clinician to obtain a proper specimen from the lesion for evaluation.
Types of Biopsies
A small part of the lesion is obtained as specimen using a punch. This technique is of particular use in mucosal lesions from inaccessible regions that cannot be reached by conventional methods. The technique produces some amount of crushing or distortion of the tissues.
When there is a large diffuse lesion, a “representative” section of the lesion is incised with the help of a scalpel along with the normal tissue and sent for histopathological evaluation. The depth of the biopsy should be enough to obtain a representative area of the lesion. Usually an elliptical, wedge-shaped tissue is obtained with the “V” of the wedge converging into the deeper tissues.
Excisional biopsy is taken if the lesion is extremely small in size. In these cases the entire lesion is excised in toto at the same sitting and sent for histopathological examination. It is a combination of diagnostic and ablative procedure and is suitable for lesions < 1 cm.