Excisional Biopsy (General Surgery)

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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
  • For biopsy of lesions suspected of being melanoma
  • Significant coagulopathy
  • Allergy to any materials or anesthetics to be used
  • Sterile gloves and drapes
  • Skin antiseptic (e.g., chlorhexidine)
  • Local anesthetic, syringe, and an 18-, 27-, or 30-gauge needle
  • Specimen container, usually containing formalin
  • Suture supplies
  • Surgical marking pen
  • Scalpel handle and scalpel blades
  • Skin hook
  • Forceps
  • Tissue scissors
  • Dressing supplies
  • Radiofrequency unit, if desired
  • 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) for 24 to 48 hours.
  • Have the patient follow up for suture removal.
  • 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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