Biopsy

What is an Oral Biopsy?

Oral Biopsy is a surgical procedure to obtain tissue from the patient’s oral cavity, for microscopic examination, usually to perform a diagnosis.

Purpose of an Oral Biopsy

An Oral Biopsy can be performed for several reasons. Sometimes:

  • there are inflammatory changes in the oral cavity of unknown cause that persist for long periods;
  • an oral lesion interferes with proper oral function;
  • for bone lesions that are not specifically identified by clinical examination and X-rays, or any oral lesion that has the characteristics of a malignancy.

Types of Oral Biopsy

There are six main types of Oral Biopsy. These are:

  • Cytology: This type of Oral Biopsy can be used to diagnose lesions in the oral cavity due to post-radiation changes, herpes, and fungal infections. Cytology allows examination of individual cells but cannot necessarily result in an accurate and definitive diagnosis. It is recommended that this type of Oral Biopsy be performed along with an Excisional or Incisional Biopsy.
  • Aspiration Biopsy: In this type of Oral Biopsy, the oral surgeon uses a needle and syringe to remove a sample of cells or contents of a lesion. If the oral surgeon is not able to withdraw fluid or air it probably means that the lesion is solid.
  • Incisional Biopsy: This type of Oral Biopsy is performed only to sample a representative portion of the oral lesion. If the lesion is large or has many differing characteristics, it may require sampling of more than one area.
  • Punch Biopsy: This is done with a punch tool for both incisional and excisional purposes. This type of Oral Biopsy is best suited for the diagnosis of oral manifestations of mucocutaneous and ulcerative conditions of the oral cavity, such as lichen planus.
  • Brush Biopsy: In this type of Oral Biopsy, firm pressure with a circular brush is applied, and rotated give to ten times, causing light abrasion. The cellular material picked up by the brush is transferred to a glass slide, preserved and dried.
  • Excisional Biopsy: This type of Oral Biopsy is performed for small oral lesions, usually less than 1 cm. On clinical exam, the lesion appears benign. This type of Oral Biopsy results in complete removal of the lesion.
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