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  • To obtain a tissue sample for diagnostic testing
  • To obtain a deep tissue culture
  • To perform an excision for curative or cosmetic purposes
  • Significant coagulopathy
  • Allergy to any materials or anesthetics to be used
  • Suspected melanoma (must "biopsy for depth")
  • Nonsterile gloves
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Local anesthetic (0.5 to 1 mL of 1% to 2% lidocaine with or without epinephrine)
  • Dermal curette (disposable for cancers) in a size appropriate to the lesion
  • Electrosurgical or battery-powered cautery unit with cautery tips
  • Hemostatic agents
  • Antibiotic ointment and adhesive bandage
  • Specimen container, usually containing formalin
  • The epidermis is the outermost, epithelial layer, exterior to the dermis.
  • The subcutaneous tissue consists of adipose tissue and larger blood vessels and nerves.

Sample excerpt does not include step-by-step text instructions for performing this procedure
The full content of this section includes:
  • Step-by-step text instructions for performing the procedure
  • Clinical pearls providing practical clinical tips from medical experts
  • Patient safety guidelines consistent with Joint Commission and OHSA standards
  • Links to medical evidence and related procedures

  • Protect the wound with a moist dressing (e.g., with ointment on the dressing or just ointment for the face or scalp) for 24 to 48 hours.
  • Apply non-stick dressing and pressure, if needed, for hemostasis.
  • Instruct the patient to return if signs of wound infection become apparent.
  • Notify the patient of biopsy results and the need for any further treatment.
  • Pain
  • Infection
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Scarring
  • Missing the correct diagnosis
  • Allergic reactions to materials or anesthetics
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