General Biopsy Surgery
|Your doctor has recommended that you undergo a biopsy procedure - or lumpectomy. But what does that actually mean?
Biopsy is a general term which simply means "the removal of tissue for microscopic examination."
Your doctor intends to remove tissue from your body, not because you're necessarily ill,
but because biopsy is a very accurate method for analyzing unusual growths or other suspicious tissue. Because it provides such accurate diagnostic information, biopsy is an important diagnostic tool in the fight against cancer.
In your case, you have a suspicious lump or other tissue which needs to be examined. It may have been felt by you or your doctor...
... or spotted using other diagnostic tools such as x-ray.
Let's take a moment to look at the reasons why lumps or growths form. The body is made of many different kinds of tissues and those tissues are all subject to change during the course of a normal lifetime.
Usually, a thickening or lump turns out to be benign, or harmless, and often requires no treatment.
In some cases, lumps are malignant tumors, caused by the growth of cancerous cells. These growths need to be treated as rapidly as possible...
In order to learn more about the nature of the suspicious tissue, your doctor would like to surgically remove it.
Most likely, you're feeling some anxiety about this procedure, which is perfectly understandable.
You should realize that it's natural to feel apprehensive about any kind of biopsy.
But ignoring a suspicious growth won't make it go away.
If you're feeling anxious, try to remember that the purpose of a biopsy is simply to find out what is going on in your body - so that if you do have a problem, it can be diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible.
If you should decide not to allow your doctor to perform the biopsy, you'll be leaving yourself at risk for medical problems.
If the suspicious tissue in your breast is benign, most likely you'll suffer few if any complications. However, if it is cancerous, and it is allowed to grow unchecked - you might be putting your own life at risk.
The bottom line - trust that your doctor is recommending this procedure for your benefit and above all don't be afraid to ask questions raised by this video and to talk openly about your concerns.
On the day of your operation, you will be asked to put on a surgical gown.
You may receive a sedative by mouth and an intravenous line may be put in.
You will then be transferred to the operating table.
Your doctor will scrub thoroughly and will apply an antiseptic solution to the skin around the area where the incision will be made.
Then, the doctor will place a sterile drape or towels around the operative site and will inject a local anesthetic. This will sting a bit, usually, the surgeon will inject more than one spot - in order to make sure that the entire area is thoroughly numb.
After allowing a few minutes for the anesthetic to take effect, the surgeon will make a small incision.
Once the incision has been made, your doctor will begin looking for the lump.
You will feel some pressure or even slight tugging or pulling - but you should not feel any sharp pain.
Once the lump is removed, the doctor will close the skin over the incision as neatly and as cosmetically as they are able.
Finally, a sterile dressing is applied.
Your tissue specimen will be sent immediately to a lab for microscopic analysis. Your doctor will tell you when to expect results from the tests.
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