I've experienced several periods of depression throughout my adult life, and while prescription drugs have proved helpful, I've been keen to explore drug-free ways to manage and treat my depression. I started this blog to share my personal experience battling this illness and the alternative treatment options I've tried, including dietary supplements, talking therapies, meditation, relaxation exercises, massage and acupuncture. I also post about current research on the effectiveness of holistic therapies at treating depression, and the blog contains guest posts written by others with depression who have tried drug-free treatments. I hope you find the information on this blog useful.
If you're worried about a growth on your skin, then your skin cancer clinic may have recommended that you have a biopsy to check the growth out. Depending on the growth itself, the clinic may book you in for an incisional or an excisional procedure. What's the difference between the two?
What Is an Incisional Skin Biopsy?
If you have an incisional biopsy, then your doctor only needs to remove part of the growth for testing. They may also take some of the skin around it and may go down deep enough to reach underlying tissue.
You'll typically have a local anaesthetic to numb the area before the biopsy is taken. Depending on the growth and your doctor's preference, they may use a scalpel or special instrument such as a cutting punch to cut out the piece they need.
You won't always need a stitch or stitches after this kind of procedure. However, if your doctor takes off a large enough amount of the growth, then they may want to stitch the site to help it heal. If your test results show that the growth is malignant, then your doctor will talk to you about removing it completely and about any other treatment you may need.
What Is an Excisional Skin Biopsy?
If your clinic recommends an excisional skin biopsy, then your doctor will remove all of the growth and some of the skin around it at once. Small growths are sometimes removed with a punch tool; larger growths usually need to be cut out with a scalpel.
Again, you'll need a local anaesthetic for the procedure. Unless the growth is very small, you're more likely to need stitches afterwards.
Doctors often opt for an excisional biopsy if they think that there is a strong chance that the growth might be cancerous. However, this isn't the only reason why you might have this kind of procedure.
For example, your doctor may need a larger sample size because they want to run multiple tests on the growth. They may agree to take it all at once to remove it for cosmetic reasons. If the growth proves to be malignant, then this may be the only procedure you need at this stage as all of the growth will have been removed.
If you aren't sure what kind of biopsy you will have and why this option was chosen, contact your skin cancer clinic. They can give you more information on the procedure.Share
30 August 2019