This procedure collects a sample of a growth or mass of tissue. There are many types of biopsies. Some are very simple, and some are a bit more complex.

Will it hurt?

For most biopsies, you'll be awake. The area where the biopsy will be taken will be numbed, so it shouldn't hurt. And, you may be given medicine to help you relax. If your doctor needs to get a sample of tissue from somewhere deep in your body, you may be put to sleep.


How is a tissue sample taken? It could be done with a blade. That's what we do for a biopsy of the skin, for example. Some biopsies are done with a special needle. We can use a needle to sample bone marrow, or a lump in the breast. For some biopsies, we can use a flexible tube called an "endoscope." An endoscope can take a sample from your lung, bladder or colon. And sometimes a biopsy site can't be reached easily. In this case, you'll need to have a surgical procedure.


After your biopsy, the sample is taken to a lab and studied. You may have a followup appointment with your doctor to talk about any treatment you may need.