Biopsy of the skin | Biopsy

Biopsy of the skin

Biopsies of skin cells can also be performed and analysed. They are mainly performed to clarify skin findings that are visible from the outside. In the case of conspicuous skin features, a dermatologist can use various criteria to assess whether the change is benign or requires further clarification.

Different biopsy procedures are used depending on the appearance, size and spread of the findings. For smaller conspicuous findings, excision biopsy is preferred. In this procedure, the entire area is cut out with a scalpel and then examined.

With every potential result that the examination provides, the procedure is completed on the skin, as all abnormalities have been removed. As alternative options, for example in the case of large affected skin areas, the incision biopsy or the punch biopsy should be mentioned. Here, only one sample is obtained for examination. After subsequent diagnosis, the remaining findings are left or must be removed in a second procedure. Biopsies of the skin can be performed with or without local anesthesia and are usually low in complications.

Biopsy of the lymph nodes

Lymph node biopsies are a common clinical diagnostic method, especially in cancer diagnostics. Lymph nodes can be noticed by the patient or the doctor as enlargements that can be painful. Lymph nodes can also be shown enlarged in the CT image.

The cause can be inflammatory diseases or tumor diseases. The lymph collects fluid from all organ areas and channels it back into the blood via its own lymphatic system in the neck area. In the case of tumour diseases that spread and form metastases, the surrounding lymph nodes in particular are quickly affected.

Their infestation contributes significantly to the assessment of the cancer and the decision on therapy. A particularly large number of lymph nodes are located in the groin area and in the armpit. The affected lymph nodes must be biopsied for an exact diagnosis.

For this purpose, the skin is incised and the lymph nodes are exposed. It can then be removed and then examined cytologically and histologically. If the lymph node is actually affected by cancer, all nodes in the region are removed to prevent the risk of tumor cells colonizing other lymph nodes via the lymphatic system. This prophylactic procedure is called “lymph node removal”.

Biopsy of the thyroid gland

A thyroid biopsy is performed in clinical diagnostics for many diseases. A previous history of symptoms, palpation and ultrasound recordings of the thyroid gland give rise to the suspicion that it is abnormally altered. In order to target the abnormal areas of the thyroid gland, the biopsy is controlled by simultaneous ultrasound recording.

The actual biopsy is then performed with a fine needle. The complications are extremely minor with this method. Changes in the thyroid gland can be caused by inflammation, for example.

They can be caused by pathogens or as autoimmune reactions. Also in cases of malfunctioning of the thyroid gland and goitre formation, an examination of the cells can often find a cause. In many people, the thyroid gland forms nodes, which can be active or inactive.

Malignant tumours are also conceivable. Not every node of the thyroid gland needs treatment. A biopsy should provide final certainty in the case of an initially suspected diagnosis.