Reference Index - Medical Tests

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Throat anatomy
Throat anatomy


Oropharyngeal biopsy
Oropharyngeal biopsy


Oropharynx lesion biopsy

Definition:

An oropharynx lesion biopsy is surgery in which tissue from an abnormal growth or mouth sore is removed and checked for problems.



Alternative Names:

Throat lesion biopsy; Biopsy - mouth or throat; Mouth lesion biopsy



How the test is performed:

A painkiller or numbing medicine is first applied to the area. For large sores or sores of the throat, general anesthesia may be needed. All or part of the lesion is removed and sent to the laboratory to check for problems. If there is a growth in the mouth or throat, the biopsy may be the first part of tumor removal.



How to prepare for the test:

If a simple painkiller or local numbing medicine is to be used, there is no special preparation. If the test is part of a tumor removal or if general anesthesia is to be used, you may be told not to eat for 6 - 8 hours before the test.



How the test will feel:

You may feel pressure or tugging while the tissue is being removed. After the numbness wears off, the area may be sore for a few days.



Why the test is performed:

This test is done to determine the cause of a sore (lesion) in the throat.



Normal Values:

This test is only performed when there is an abnormal tissue area.



What abnormal results mean:

What the risks are:
  • Infection of the site
  • Bleeding from the site

If there is bleeding, the blood vessels may be sealed (cauterized) with an electric current or laser.



Special considerations:

Avoid hot or spicy food after the biopsy.



References:

Cummings CW, Flint PW, Haughey BH, et al. Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 4th ed. St Louis, Mo; Mosby; 2005.




Review Date: 10/10/2008
Reviewed By: Alan Lipkin, MD, Otolaryngologist, Private Practice, Denver, Colorado. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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