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Why is a Punch Biopsy Done?

punch biopsy

Punch biopsy

A punch biopsy is a medical procedure that involves removing a small round piece of tissue the size of a pencil eraser with a sharp, hollow, circular device. After that, the tissue is examined under a microscope for any signs of disease. A punch biopsy can be done to check for cancers such as skin cancer, vulvar cancer, and cervical cancer. It can also be used to look for cancer-causing diseases and alterations on the skin.

Furthermore, it takes a punch-size piece of skin from the body to get tissue for laboratory testing, which is commonly done by tissue culture or microscopy. It’s a low-risk operation that’s usually performed under local anaesthetic.

A tube-shaped tool is used to remove small amounts of skin from any portion of the body. It has a blade that measures 1 to 8 mm in length. It rotates through the skin to the fat beneath the skin. The samples are sent for microscopic and histological examinations, as well as bacterial and viral cultures.

Punch biopsies may be incisional or excisional, depending on the size of the lesion. Complex nevi, bullous or inflammatory eruptions, and complex nevi have all been biopsied using this approach. While punch biopsies can show the entire thickness of lesions, they are limited in terms of the amount of breadth they can show in relation to the material taken. In the staging and prognosis of malignant lesions, this limitation is critical.

How is it done?

Patient consent, as with many medical procedures, must be acquired beforehand. Furthermore, the patient should be informed about the cause for the treatment, what it includes, available alternatives, cosmetic outcomes, and prospective outcomes. The punch biopsy itself takes about 15 minutes and does not necessitate admission to the hospital. After a punch biopsy, a patient can resume normal activities right away.
The patient is positioned in a comfortable position with maximum and easy access to the area that needs to be biopsied just before the treatment. The skin is stretched perpendicular to its physiological lines of relaxation after a local anaesthetic is administered to the area.

A sterile punch biopsy is then inserted at a perpendicular angle to the anaesthetized skin region. After that, it’s turned 450 degrees into the skin. After obtaining the specimen, the tool is removed and pressure is administered to the area until the bleeding ceases. The biopsy sample is then preserved in a suitable medium before being sent to a laboratory for additional diagnostic testing.

Why is it done? 

Direct inspection and/or palpation can be used to diagnose most skin pathologic disorders or lesions. Others, on the other hand, necessitate microscopic and histological examination. Suspicious skin growths and lesions are the most common reasons for punch biopsies. Melanoma, carcinomas, and various bullous or inflammatory skin conditions are among them.

Punch biopsies must be planned ahead of time. It is necessary to consider factors such as the psychological implications of the results and/or technique. Patients with a history of bleeding issues or who are taking drugs that alter homeostasis should exercise caution. Patients who have an active infection at the scheduled biopsy location are not eligible for the operation.

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