What is a Biopsy? Why and when is it needed?
Some simple questions that arise in our minds when we learn the word, maybe from our medical files when recommended or from any other sources.
Well, first of, Biopsy is a medical procedure used to detect damage or disease in a segmented cell from the patient’s body. A pathologist (doctors who work with Cells) removes a cell or tissue from the patient’s body and inquiries into it through a microscope to look for any abnormalities. When the simple look-in isn’t enough they may run different tests to determine its nature. Biopsy is done through different methods, and in different parts of the body. So Biopsies can be placed in different categories regarding this. As to “When” a biopsy is done? To answer that question we may need different measures but simply put, when a doctor deems a certain part or area of the body to be unnatural they may suggest a biopsy to clear up their suspicions. Normally a Biopsy can determine if the aforementioned area is a tumor, mass, goitre or a lesion.
How is a Biopsy done?
A Biopsy is done by removing a cell from a certain area, now ‘HOW the removing procedure is done is what makes the difference.
There are mainly two types of Biopsy:
1. Incisional Biopsy: when only a sample of tissue is taken from the affected area.
2. Excisional Biopsy: when a full lump is removed surgically.
Now there are many more categories still left unexplained, read further to get some insights —
A Needle Biopsy: A needle is used to collect a liquid sample. A wide one when it’s a core biopsy and a thin one for an FNAB (fine- needle aspiration biopsy). Mostly used when sampling the thyroid.
A Scrape Biopsy: When only the surface is scraped to collect a tissue, normally known as pap smears.
An Endoscopic biopsy: When to collect a sample you need to use an endoscope. Some endoscopes are specially made, where they have segments for different body parts. Like for the lungs they have a horoscope, for the bladder they have a cystoscope and so on.
CT guided Biopsy: Where the patient lays in a CT- scan, and the doctors determine the position in which they need to drive the needle.
Open Biopsy: It’s done by a surgical procedure where an incision is done through the skin to help the tumor come to view and take a sample.
Then there are more types depending on “which area” the biopsy is performed, Like —
Biopsy of the Thyroid glands
Cardiac Biopsy (Biopsy of the heart- the only reliable way of diagnosing heart rejection as of today’s date) etc.
A Biopsy can be performed in any organ of the body, though mostly used to determine cancer, it has many other uses in medical fields.