Excision of Masses and Biopsies Surgery
What is an Excision of a Mass or a Biopsy?
When a doctor finds an area of tissue in a patient that does not appear to be normal, they will recommend a biopsy or an excision of the mass. A biopsy is a removal of a sample of the tissue, while an excision of the mass is complete removal of the tissue. The tissue is taken out in order to examine it more closely. They will refer to these tissues as a lesion, tumor, or mass, all phrases meaning they do not know the nature of the tissue without further examination.
Why is a Biopsy Performed?
Biopsies are performed to obtain a sample of the tissue for examination and to diagnose any problems, or to determine the best treatment options. Some examples of reasons for biopsies include:
- A lump or mass is shown during a mammogram – possible breast cancer
- An irregular mole – possible skin cancer
- Chronic hepatitis – checking for cirrhosis
- Normal tissue – looking for spread of cancer or rejection of transplanted organs
What Are the Types of Biopsies?
- Aspiration Biopsy – also called a fine-needle aspiration, the needle draws tissue out of a mass
- Bone Biopsy – often uses a CT scanner, takes a sample of bone tissue
- Bone Marrow Biopsy – a large needle is inserted into the pelvis to collect bone
- CT-Guided Biopsy – A CT scanner is used to help position the needle
- Kidney Biopsy – a needle is inserted through the back to remove kidney tissue
- Liver Biopsy – a needle is inserted through the belly to remove liver tissue
- Needle biopsy – a needle is used to access tissue
- Prostate Biopsy – multiple needle biopsies are taken from the prostate gland through the rectum
- Skin Biopsy – also called a punch biopsy (most common), a circular blade is used to take a cylindrical sample of skin tissue.
- Surgical Biopsy – open or laparoscopic surgery to obtain hard to reach tissue
- Ultrasound-Guided Biopsy – an ultrasound scanner is used to help position the needle
What to Expect During a Biopsy Or Excision of a Mass
Biopsies or mass excisions are termed based on how difficult the tissue will be to remove. The medical term is “invasiveness”. If the biopsy is a skin biopsy, it would be minimally invasive and may be done in a doctor’s office with just a small injection of numbing medicine. More invasive biopsies or mass excisions can be done in a hospital or surgery center. Sedation and pain relief medications may be given to reduce discomfort, so you would not be able to drive afterward. The biopsy area may be sore for a few days, and pain relief medications may be appropriate depending on the severity of the invasiveness.
What to Expect After a Biopsy or Mass Excision
The tissue that has been collected is sent to a pathologist for diagnosis. Using a microscope, a pathologist can analyze the tissue cell’s type, shape, and internal activity which will diagnose the problem. The length of time for results can be from a few minutes to a few weeks depending on the analysis required. Your doctor will schedule a follow-up to review the results of your biopsy or mass excision.
If you need a biopsy or an excision of a mass, come to the experts at Central Valley Surgical Specialists!
It is our goal at Central Valley Surgical Specialists to bring the highest quality surgical care closer to home through innovation and collaboration.
8307 Brimhall Rd. Suite 1706
Bakersfield, CA 93312
Monday - Friday: 8am – 5pm