An oral (mouth) biopsy is a surgical procedure that is performed to diagnose a condition or abnormal area inside the mouth, such as a lesion or ulcer.
An incisional biopsy will involve removing a small piece of tissue from an area inside the mouth, in order for it to be closely examined under a microscope. Once examined, a diagnosis can be made.
Unlike an incisional biopsy, an excisional biopsy involves the removal of an entire area inside the mouth. This is commonly appropriate for small lumps and swellings.
An oral biopsy begins with the area being sterilised before a local anaesthetic is injected into the gum, to numb the area and help prevent any pain that may be experienced during surgery.
The surgeon makes an incision into the gum tissue to remove either a section of abnormal tissue (incisional) or the entire area of tissue (excisional). The amount of tissue to be removed will depend on the size and location of the growth.
The biopsy will usually leave a small hole that requires stitches. In the majority of cases, the stitches are dissolvable and take approximately two weeks to completely disappear. The biopsy usually takes approximately 20 minutes from beginning to end.
For more information on oral biopsies, download our service flyer here.
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