The term biopsy refers to a medical test where cells or tissue are removed for examination, and are subsequently studied by microscope or analyzed chemically for diagnosis.
Biopsy can be further categorized depending on whether an entire area is removed (excisional biopsy), a sample is removed (incisional biopsy) or a sample or fluid is removed via needle (needle aspiration biopsy). A radiologist performs minimally-invasive needle biopsy with the guidance of imaging technology such as mammography, ultrasound, MRI, CT or fluoroscopy.
The imaging modality used is determined by the area being sampled; for example, mammogram guides breast biopsy while CT guides lung biopsy and so forth. During the procedure, the radiologist inserts a small needle, guided by the appropriate imaging technique, into the abnormal area.
A sample of tissue is removed and given to a pathologist who determines what the abnormality is - for example, cancer, a noncancerous tumor, infection, or scar.
The development and use of needle biopsy has largely eliminated the need for surgery and minimized the risks and recovery time involved, although for some biopsies surgery may still be required, and would be performed by a surgeon.
Some preparation may be needed for this procedure- you will be given specific instructions at the time of scheduling