What is a tissue biopsy?
biopsy is a sample of tissue taken from the body in order to subject it to specialised examination. In most cases this type of examination is a histological examination. Histology is the branch of pathology that deals with the anatomical study of the microscopic structure of tissues. Tissue biopsies, by definition, do not involve fluids such as blood or urine. Biopsies are usually obtained from tissues thought to be abnormal. These areas can be described as lesions, masses or tumours. All of these terms are generally interchangeable and simply reflect the uncertainty of the nature of the tissue to be examined.
In most cases, a biopsy is done to diagnose a problem or to help determine the best therapy option. The results of a tissue biopsy can have a very significant impact on any treatment offered and might shed some light on the prognosis of any condition diagnosed.
issue samples are prepared for examination under the microscope. Special dyes are often used to facilitate the study.
Tissue removal can be partial or complete. If the plan is to remove all of the visible lesion for examination, this is called an ‘excision biopsy.’ subsequent examination of the tissue edges will determine if the lesion has in fact been removed completely. In many cases no attempt will be made to remove all of the lesion, rather, to obtain tissue specimens thought to be representative of the changes noted or suspected
Tissue biopsy in gynaecology
Tissue biopsy specimens can be obtained from most genital structures:
- Endometrial lining of uterus
- Bladder urothelium
- Fallopian tubes
- Peritoneal tissue of pelvis
Excision biopsy in gynaecology
Examples of gynaecological excision biopsies:
- Cervical and endometrial polypectomy
- Oophorectomy (removal of ovary)
- Salpingectomy (removal of fallopian tubes)
- Myomectomy (fibroid excision)
- Excision of endometriotic deposits
Methods of obtaining a tissue biopsy