A shave biopsy is a diagnostic test where a thin piece of skin is removed from the surface using a sharp blade. The skin is then examined under a microscope.
Why a shave biopsy is done @(Model.HeadingTag)>
A shave biopsy is only used for growths or abnormal areas that are on the top or outer
layers of skin. This includes the
A shave biopsy is mainly done to diagnose:
- types of non-melanoma skin cancer such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma
- other skin tumours including actinic keratosis (a precancerous condition of the skin)
- non-cancerous skin tumours or conditions such as seborrheic keratoses
In some cases, a shave biopsy is used as a treatment to completely remove a non-cancerous growth such as a wart or skin tag.
Side effects @(Model.HeadingTag)>
Side effects can happen with any type of test, but everyone’s experience is different. Most side effects of a shave biopsy are temporary. They may include:
- soreness or tenderness at the site
- a small amount of bleeding
- wound infection
What the results mean @(Model.HeadingTag)>
The biopsy sample is sent to a lab. A pathologist (a doctor who specializes in the causes and nature of disease) will examine the sample. The pathology report describes the types of cells found in the sample and if the cells are normal or abnormal.
An abnormal result may mean a non-cancerous growth, a precancerous condition or cancer.
Depending on the results, your doctor will decide if you need more tests, any treatment or follow-up care.
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Estep PS. Skin Biopsy Technique. 2014: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1997709-technique.
Estep PS. Skin Biopsy. 2014: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1997709-overview.
Pickett H . Shave and punch biopsy for skin lesions. American Family Physician. 2011.
US National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: Skin Lesion Biopsy. 2015: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003840.htm.