Penile Biopsy

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  • Diagnosis of any abnormal penile lesion that does not have an obvious, benign origin
  • To obtain a diagnosis of lesions that do not respond as expected to medical treatment
  • To obtain a specimen for immunofluorescence testing
  • Significant coagulopathy
  • Allergy to local anesthetic
  • Partial-thickness biopsies contraindicated if melanoma is suspected
  • Sterile gloves
  • Povidone-iodine or other suitable skin antiseptic (e.g., alcohol, chlorhexidine)
  • Local anesthetic (1-2 mL of 1% lidocaine without epinephrine), syringe with an 18-gauge needle for drawing medicine from the anesthetic vial, and a 27- or 30-gauge needle for injection
  • Specimen container, usually containing formalin
  • Punch biopsy tool (3 mm is usually adequate)
  • Pickups
  • Sharp fine-tissue scissors
  • Suture supplies


  • The penile skin overlies the superficial fascia (dartos fascia).
  • Beneath the dartos fascia is the deep fascia (Buck's fascia) of the penis.
  • The neurovascular supply is provided via the dorsal artery and nerve, which lie on the superior aspect of the penis, just lateral to the midline dorsal vein.

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

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Possible scarring
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