A biopsy is a diagnostic medical procedure in which a sample of a tissue is taken from the body for microscopic examination. Depending on the site from where tissue has to be taken, biopsy can be done by various different ways, such as excisional biopsy, incisional biopsy, endoscopic biopsy, fine needle aspiration, punch biopsy and bone marrow biopsy. Taking a tissue sample by scraping cells from the surface layer of tissue, punch biopsy, needle biopsy and bone marrow biopsy using a needle are usually done as day care procedure. You may be sent home in a few hours after the procedure. If biopsy is done by endoscopy or excision, you may have to stay in the hospital for one or two days.
Know about the procedure: Discuss with your doctor about exactly what will be done during the biopsy. Ask about anaesthesia i.e. whether you will be given local or general anaesthesia for pain relief or not.
Discuss your medications: Inform the doctor about your medications including both prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Follow the doctor’s recommendations regarding timing and any change in dose of your medications before the procedure, such as if you take insulin or oral drugs for diabetes, you may need to alter the timing and dose of the medications. The doctor may advice you to stop taking some medications prior to the procedure to prevent complications and interactions with the anaesthesia. In addition to medications, follow your doctor’s advice regarding eating and drinking a few hours before the procedure. These are important for your safety and well-being. Avoiding food and water may not be advised if you are going to receive local anaesthesia.
Prepare for anaesthesia: Inform your doctor about any health conditions (such as lung or heart disease) or allergies that you have. It may help your doctor to know if it could cause a problem with your anaesthesia. Be sure to inform about any previous problems you've had with anaesthesia.
Prepare for after procedure: You may be sent home in a few hours after the procedure. Get a family or friend along with you for support during the procedure and to drive you back home. The site of biopsy may remain sore and painful for a few days. Your doctor may prescribe medications to relieve pain; take them as advised.
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