Biopsy 

Why?

Sometimes it is necessary to take a tissue sample from a skin lesion or lesion in the mouth or throat.

How?

This can often be done in clinic, but occasionally a hospital admission with general anaesthetic is required. If it is performed in clinic, local anaesthetic is first injected to numb the area. Then a sample is taken with either a small punch or forceps. There may be a small amount of bleeding which usually settles quickly. The sample has to be processed and then carefully examined by a doctor called a histologist afterwards. This means the result may take several days to come back.