Biopsy is an invasive medical procedure in which sample of tissue is removed from the body for diagnosis of the disease that is causing the symptoms. The sample that is taken is examined by a pathologist (a doctor who specialises in diagnosing diseases by looking at cells and tissues under a microscope) under a microscope. In actual terms, sample for biopsy is taken from a living subject.
What is biopsy used for?
Biopsies are done to diagnose underlying disease. Biopsy is usually done to confirm a diagnosis if non-invasive tests, such as MRI, X-ray or CT scan fail to diagnose the disease. After examination of tissue sample, the doctor may call an area of abnormal tissue a lesion, a tumour or a mass.
Some of the conditions that can be diagnosed by biopsy include:
Biopsy analysis and results
The sample of tissue that is taken is sent to the lab for examination. It may be chemically treated, sliced up into very thin sections and stained (dye is added to the tissue) before examination. A pathologist (a doctor who specialises in diagnosing diseases by looking at cells and other tissue samples under a microscope or by other tests) examines the samples to make a diagnosis. Blood sample or bone marrow biopsy is examined by a blood specialist (haematologist) to make a diagnosis. The pathologist after examining and studying the sample prepares a report that includes the important findings and sends it to the doctor, who ordered the biopsy. Your doctor will discuss the result of the biopsy during follow-up and then recommend treatment.
Read more articles on Biopsy