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Definition:

A polyp biopsy is a diagnostic procedure that takes a sample of or removes polyps (abnormal growths) for examination.



Alternative Names:

Polyp biopsy



How the test is performed:

Polyps are outgrowths of tissue that may be attached by a pedicle . They are commonly found in organs with many blood vessels, such as the uterus, rectum, and nose. Some polyps are cancerous (malignant) and likely to spread, while others are noncancerous (benign).

How a polyp biopsy is taken depends on the location:

For areas of the body that are visible, a topical anesthetic is applied, and a small piece of the tissue that appears to be abnormal is removed. This tissue is sent to the laboratory, where technicians determine if the polyp is benign or malignant.



How to prepare for the test:

If the biopsy is to take place in the nose, or other visible surface or orifice, no special preparation is required, although fasting for a few hours beforehand may be advisable.

There is more preparation needed for internal procedures. Please see the particular procedure for additional information.



How the test will feel:

For superficial polyps, you may feel a tugging sensation while the biopsy is being taken. After the anesthetic wears off, the area may be sore for a few days. Biopsies of internal polyps are performed during procedures (for example EGD or colonoscopy), and usually nothing is felt during or after the biopsy. Please see the individual procedure topics for more specific information.



Why the test is performed:

The test is performed to determine if the growth is malignant (cancer).



Normal Values:

Examination of the biopsy shows the polyp to be benign (not cancer).



What abnormal results mean:

Malignant cells are present and may indicate a malignant tumor . Further tests may be needed.



What the risks are:

Risks include:

  • Organ perforation
  • Infection
  • Bleeding


Special considerations:




Review Date: 3/8/2008
Reviewed By: Christian Stone, MD, Division of Gastroenterology, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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