The biopsy is a special test used to look at a tiny piece of your body, called tissue. The doctors look at the tissue under a microscope. The microscope makes tiny things look really big. The doctors are looking at the cells in your tissue. A biopsy can be done during a test or an operation.
Your whole body is made up of cells. Cells join together to make different parts of your body, for example your skin.
Why do I need to have a Biopsy?
You are having a biopsy because the doctor needs to check your tissue. They need to take a very close look at the tiny piece of tissue from your body to find out if it is sick and how they can help you.
What does a Biopsy look like?
There is no machine for this test. All that is used is a bed and a needle.
What happens when I have a Biopsy?
A porter will come to bring you to the special room to have the biopsy. A nurse will greet you and explain what will happen.
The nurse will give you a gown to wear, this looks like a backward housecoat, you may already be wearing one. The nurse will help you to get on the bed; she will also tell you how to lie down on the bed. The nurse will put a blanket over you to keep you warm and make sure you are covered.
There are many different biopsies that the doctors can do. Depending on the area of your body that the doctor needs to look at, you may be given special sleep medicine or a part of your body may be asleep for the test.
While you are asleep or while the part of your body is asleep the doctor will use a special needle to take a tiny piece of tissue to be tested.
It is important to remember to relax and lie still. The test can take about 45 minutes to complete. When it is over, you will rest for a little while and then you will be brought back to your room.
What will the Biopsy feel like?
Depending on the type of biopsy that will be done, it may happen during a test, or it may be done during a surgery.
If just the area of your body where the biopsy will be done is asleep, you will not feel pain because the doctor will numb the area on your skin where the biopsy will be done. They will use a small needle to numb the area; you may feel a small pinch. It may take a little while for the area to feel numb. Once it is numb the doctor will use a needle to do the biopsy. You may feel pressure like someone is pushing down on you (for example, you may feel the doctor putting pressure on your leg, but not feel the needle) and you may feel movement of your body.
If you are asleep during the biopsy; you will be given special sleep medicine to go to sleep. This medicine is usually given to you in an IV. If you do not already have an IV, the doctor may need to give you one. To learn more about IV?s, go to the What Is That? section. You will not hear, feel or see anything. This is usually done in the operating room.
Preparing for the test
Your nurse will give you the information you need to help you get ready to have your biopsy. You may be told that you will not be able to eat or drink anything before the test.
You may also be given a special medicine before the test that makes you feel sleepy and helps you to relax. This medicine goes into your IV. If you do not already have an IV, the nurse will give you one. The IV is a small straw that goes into the vein usually in your hand. This is the quickest way to get the sleepy medicine into your body. You will feel a pinch from the poke of the IV, and it may hurt a little. Remember the needle used to get the straw into your hand, comes out and is put into a special garbage. All that is in your hand is a tiny bendy straw, no needle. When it is time for the test, remember to relax and take deep breaths.
If you have any questions about the test, always ask!