FAQ Skin Biopsy

FAQ: Skin Biopsy

If your doctor suspects that you may have skin cancer

This procedure will remove a small sample of your skin tissue that will be processed in a lab and examined to determine whether you have skin cancer or not

The risks and complications are similar to other aesthetic surgery but less likely since the procedure is not invasive and simple. In healthy patients in the hands of board certified Plastic Surgeons, the complication rates are in fact not very high.

You may rely on the physical examination of a dermatologist that is well-trained in detecting and classifying whether it is cancerous or not

As soon as abnormal skin appears and is detected

If you rely and trust the observation done by the dermatologist, you can choose not to have this procedure however it is recommended that you do because sometimes even with a well-trained eye, it cannot always be determined noncancerous

You are putting yourself at risk by allowing more time for the cancer cells to grow, if the skin area is indeed cancerous

This will depend on the depth of the skin area (shallow/deep) and overall size of the melanoma

The areas of the skin that are infected

If done properly, it is not needed for any additional surgeries

This will vary from patient to patient since the location of abnormal skin will differ

Depending on the size of the incision and how your skin recovers

It should take less than 10 minutes

There should be no to minimal pain since a local anesthetic is injected at the site before the removal is made

Pain is usually very minimal after surgery. My patients usually do not need to take any narcotic.

A local anesthetic is used and sedation is not needed

Yes, your medication list will be reviewed during your consultation and your preoperative appointments. Please notify your surgeon of any changes or new medications at your preoperative appointment.

Arrive half an hour before your surgery

You can get the information on our website or call my office for direction.

No, you usually do not need someone to drive you home as long are you are not taking any narcotics to manage the pain

  • Arrange for someone to take care of responsibilities at home and work if needed
  • Call your doctor if you think of other questions
  • Notify your doctor if you get sick within 10 days of your procedure (even minor illnesses like a cold)
  • Stop eating and/or drinking as advised by your doctor
  • Do not smoke or drink alcohol 24 hours before your procedure
  • Make sure you have the doctor’s contact information and directions to the clinic/hospital

The procedure should take less than 20 minutes

  • Make sure your identity has been confirmed with name and date of birth
  • Make sure your procedure has been confirmed
  • Make sure the correct site of your procedure has been marked
  • Yes, you will be marked while you are awake in the preoperative area. Communicate with your surgeon.
  • Make sure the correct side of your procedure has been marked
  • Confirm any allergies and side-effects you might have
  • Make sure you understand and have signed the informed consent forms

I usually talk to you in the recovery room as well as with one to two days after surgery in your postoperative visit to explain how your surgery went.

This is an outpatient surgery and you may leave whenever you are ready to do so

Pain is none to minimal so usually you do not need medication

I usually like to see my patients 1-2 days after the procedure

Yes, they will be removed 3-5 days after the procedure

You may take off the bandage a day after the surgery

You can return to your normal routine right away

  • Make sure your care providers wash their hands before and after your care
  • Do not wait until your pain is severe before you ask for pain medication
  • Do not get up without help if you feel weak or dizzy
  • You have a fever higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • You have shortness of breath or chest pain
  • You notice increased redness, swelling, warmth, or pain around your incision
  • You notice that your incision is separating or you have infected discharge from your incision
  • The edges of your biopsy site have an abnormal color
  • Your dressing is repeatedly soaked with blood
  • You have pain that your existing pain medications cannot control
  • Take pain and other medications as prescribed
  • Do not drive when you are on prescription pain medications
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions on bathing and swimming
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions on caring for your procedure site
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions on resuming normal daily activities

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