A skin biopsy is a simple procedure performed by your dermatologist under local anesthesia. Your dermatologist will first inject a small amount of anesthesia into the designated area. After the area is numb, your dermatologist will remove either part of the growth or the entire growth. The growth will then be sent to a pathology lab for microscopic examination by a dermatopathologist (a pathologist or dermatologist specialized in the microscopic examination of skin disease). After the biopsy is performed, a bandage will be placed over the wound area, and your doctor will explain to you the postoperative wound care instructions. The biopsy results, which will take a few days, will indicate whether or not you have skin cancer and, if so, what type of skin cancer you have. There are different techniques to perform a skin biopsy. Your dermatologist will select one of the techniques listed below, depending on the location of the treated area and the type of skin growth to be analyzed:
- Shave biopsy: a surgical blade is used to cut a superficial slice of either part of the growth or the entire growth. There is usually no stitching involved with this biopsy technique, and the wound heals by itself over a period of 1 to 3 weeks, thus the resulting scar is minimal. If the shave biopsy goes deeper into the skin, the resulting scar will be more visible and the shape of the scar will be the shape of the skin biopsy.
- Punch biopsy: a small cylindrical instrument is used to cut either part of the growth or the entire growth. The resulting wound is usually stitched side by side. The punch biopsy technique allows for a deeper sampling of the growth. Because the wound is usually stitched, the resulting scar is linear. If nondissolvable stitches are used, they will be removed within 1 to 2 weeks after the biopsy, depending on the location of the treated area.
- Excisional biopsy: a surgical blade is used to completely remove the growth. The resulting wound is usually stitched side by side. As with the punch biopsy, the resulting scar is linear. If nondissolvable stitches are used, they will be removed within 1 to 2 weeks after the biopsy, depending on the location of the treated area.
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Do you give 100% guarantee?
No doctor can give 100% guarantee that the treatment or surgery would be beneficial for the patient. For that matter, no guarantee is given by any doctor or surgeon that the patient would be "cured".
Anyone considering a cosmetic procedure should ensure they are informed enough to understand the limitations and risks of any procedure. Remember, no procedure is 100% risk free and no surgeon can give a 100% guarantee of the results.
The only assurance which a doctor can give or can be understood to have given by implication is that he is possessed of the requisite skill in that branch of profession which he is practicing and while undertaking the performance of the task entrusted to him he would be exercising his skill with reasonable competence.
Unless the circumstances are exceptional, it is advisable to avoid surgery if you have recently experienced major life events such as moving house, changing job, losing a loved one, the break-up of a relationship or the arrival of children. Undergoing cosmetic surgery results in emotional changes as well as physical ones, so it’s wise to choose a time when there aren’t other stressful events going on in your life.
How many sessions do I require?
The healthier your skin/hair are when starting out, the easier it will take the treatment. The sessions must be spaced to allow adequate healing in between. Skin/Hair that are healthy enough to regenerate fairly quickly will be able to endure more sessions of a treatment in a shorter period of time.
While these aren’t the only factors involved, they are the most common. Don’t be surprised, however, if your doctor mentions another situation that could impact the length and/or number of sessions you may require. Every person is different, and your circumstances will be unique only to YOU.