What Is a Punch Biopsy?
A punch biopsy is a procedure in which a small, round piece of tissue is removed using a sharp, circular instrument. It is the most widely used technique for a skin biopsy and can be used for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. The tissue that’s removed is typically about the size of a pencil eraser, and includes deeper layers of skin (epidermis, dermis, and superficial fat). The hollow instrument is turned both clockwise and counterclockwise to put down about 4 millimeters into the skin.
After the tissue is removed from the patient, it is then examined under a microscope for signs of diseases.
Our team at Next Genomix Laboratories is highly trained and knowledgeable in punch biopsies, and we have the skills necessary to carefully remove and examine tissue to provide patients with an accurate diagnosis. Contact us today to learn more about punch biopsies or to schedule an appointment with us in Atlanta!
Advantages of a Punch Biopsy
Punch biopsies offer many advantages, as they are one of the most common types of skin biopsies carried out. Some of the benefits of this procedure include:
Relatively painless — Patients are given a local anesthetic to minimize pain in the biopsy area.
Quick — The procedure itself can be carried out in under 20 minutes.
Versatile — It can be used to diagnose a wide array of conditions, including skin, vulvar, and cervical cancers.
Minimal scarring — When carried out properly, this procedure should leave minimal scarring in the biopsy area.
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What to Expect During a Punch Biopsy
A punch biopsy is a fairly low-risk procedure that is typically performed under local anesthesia. During the procedure, small pieces of skin from any part of the body are removed using a tool that is tube-shaped and sharp.
The procedure itself takes approximately 15 minutes to complete and does not require hospitalization. Patients are placed in a comfortable position and then local anesthetic is applied to the biopsy site. The skin is then stretched perpendicular to the lines of relaxation and the biopsy is carried out. In some cases, patients may need stitches at the biopsy site, depending on how much tissue was removed. Patients may resume normal activities as soon as the procedure is over.
Specific Conditions a Punch Biopsy Can Diagnose
Punch biopsies are used to diagnose a wide range of conditions, including:
Non-melanoma skin cancer
Small fiber peripheral neuropathy
At Next Genomix Laboratories, we offer testing for small fiber peripheral neuropathy. Contact us today to learn more.
Side Effects of Punch Biopsies
- Punch biopsies can come with mild to severe temporary side effects, including soreness or tenderness at the biopsy site, a small amount of bleeding, or possible infections. If you suspect that your biopsy area is not healing as it should, reach out to a medical professional right away.
Why Request a Punch Biopsy Test?
A Punch Biopsy is the best diagnostic tool for early detection and early treatment of small fiber peripheral neuropathy. Epidermal Nerve Fiber Density testing analysis provides patients and doctors with data to provide treatment plans to manage symptoms of small fiber peripheral neuropathy. Small fiber peripheral neuropathy (SFPN) is a progressive disease that primarily affects the terminal end-branches of peripheral nerves that result in disintegration of the nerve fiber cytoskeleton, and eventually complete nerve loss. Patients often feel pain, tingling, or numbness in their toes, feet, legs, fingers, and hands in a stocking-glove distribution.
Punch Biopsy Testing for Epidermal Nerve Fiber Density - Additional Information and Test Requisition Form
What Can an Abnormal Result Mean?
After the tissue is removed, the sample is properly preserved and then taken to a lab where a pathologist examines it for diseases. The pathology report will then describe the type of cells found in the sample, and whether they came back normal or abnormal. Abnormal results can have a variety of causes, including:
Skin conditions, such as psoriasis or eczema
Non-cancerous tumors or moles
Cancers such as squamous or basal cell carcinoma
A Team of Professionals You Can Trust
If you’re in need of a punch biopsy, you may feel a bit scared. Not only do you have to think about the procedure itself, but also the results. Our experienced team is here to help calm your worries and ensure that your results are carefully evaluated and accurate. We are highly trained, certified, and knowledgeable to ensure the highest quality of care. Contact us today to learn more!
Schedule an Appointment With Us Today
If you are in need of a punch biopsy to diagnose small fiber sensory neuropathy, our team at Next Genomics Laboratories is here to help. We have the tools, knowledge, experience, and industry-leading equipment to ensure that your biopsy is carried out carefully and yields accurate results.
To learn more about punch biopsies for small fiber peripheral neuropathy or to schedule an appointment with us, reach out to our team in Atlanta today!