Biopsies

Skin Biopsy

A skin biopsy is an outpatient procedure that takes about 30 minutes. Your health care provider may recommend this procedure to further understand your neuropathy. This procedure is performed by a trained professional.

What to expect:

  • During this procedure the site of your biopsy will be numbed with a local anesthetic.

  • A small piece of skin, no bigger then the tip of a ball point pen, is taken from just above the ankle and just above the knee. A bandage is applied and the sample is sent to a lab for further processing.

  • After your procedure you may return to normal activities, but should keep the area clean and dry. This test provides the health care provider with information about the small nerves in your skin.

Nerve Biopsy

  • Sometimes a piece of nerve tissue needs to be examined to understand your neuropathy better. The sural nerve is usually used because of its location and minimal side effects.

  • This is an outpatient procedure and you are given medication to numb the area and make you sleepy. The sural nerve is located by your ankle. An incision is made and a small piece of nerve is removed.

  • The nerve is then sent to the lab for further processing. After the biopsy, you will have a small patch of permanent numbness where the nerve was removed.

For more information and/or to make an appointment with the Maryland Peripheral Neuropathy Center, please call 410-328-3100.

This page was last updated: May 8, 2013

         
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