Skin biopsy techniques
- Patrick C Alguire, MD, FACP
Patrick C Alguire, MD, FACP
- Senior Vice President Emeritus for Medical Education
- American College of Physicians
- Barbara M Mathes, MD, FACP, FAAD
Barbara M Mathes, MD, FACP, FAAD
- Clinical Associate, Dermatology
- University of Pennsylvania
- Secretary Treasurer
- American Academy of Dermatology
- Section Editors
- Russell S Berman, MD
Russell S Berman, MD
- Section Editor — Skin and Soft Tissue Surgery
- Chief of Surgical Oncology
- New York University Langone Medical Center
- Stanley J Miller, MD
Stanley J Miller, MD
- Section Editor — Dermatologic Surgery
- Associate Professor of Dermatology and Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, Part-Time
- Johns Hopkins Hospital
The skin biopsy is a relatively simple but essential procedure in the management of skin disorders . The most commonly performed biopsy procedures are reviewed here.
More errors are made from failing to biopsy promptly than from performing unnecessary biopsies. Nevertheless, many dermatoses have nonspecific histopathology, and biopsy cannot substitute for good clinical skills [2-4]. Biopsy is indicated in the following circumstances (table 1) [2,4,5]:
●All suspected neoplastic lesions
●All bullous disorders
●To clarify a diagnosis when a limited number of entities are under considerationTo continue reading this article, you must log in with your personal, hospital, or group practice subscription. For more information on subscription options, click below on the option that best describes you:
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- SITE SELECTION
- BIOPSY TECHNIQUES
- General measures
- Biopsy site identification
- Preparing the site
- Choice of procedure
- Shave biopsy
- - Hemostasis
- Punch biopsy
- Pigmented lesions
- Processing the biopsy sample
- Pathology requisition information
- - Choice of suture and needle
- - Closing
- Wound dressing
- Suture removal
- Sample patient instructions for wound care
- - Open wounds
- - Sutured wounds
- Sample procedure notes
- - Shave biopsy
- - Punch biopsy
- - Elliptical excision
- SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS