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What is a Biopsy?

A biopsy is the removal of tissue for microscopic examination by a pathologist.

Types of Biopsy

  • Incisional – An incisional biopsy refers to the procedure where a representable section of the suspected lesion is removed and submitted for examination. This technique is generally used when the lesion is extensive.
  • Excisional – An excisional biopsy refers to the procedure where the entire section is removed in toto. This technique is employed when the lesion is relatively small.

Management of Mucosal Abnormalities

The development of a reasonable differential diagnosis is of prime importance in determining if a biopsy is indicated. Furthermore, the differential diagnosis aids the clinician in selecting the appropriate technique if a biopsy is neccessary.  A waiting period of 2 weeks often helps in forming the differential diagnosis because lesions that are related to infection, inflammation, or local trauma may resolve during this time. Biopsy is strongly recommended for the evaluation of most lesions that persist for 2 weeks or longer after the potential irritants are removed.

Microscopic Examination
Dr. Howlett submits all biopsy speicmens to the Oral Pathology Department at Augusta University College of Dental Medicine in Augusta, Georgia. It usually takes 7-10 days to process specimens and receive a written diagnosis.