A biopsy is a medical procedure that consists of extracting and analyzing a portion of tissue that is taken from a living organism, with the aim of making a diagnosis. A sample of the tissue in question is also known as a biopsy.
The etymology of the term leads us to a word in scientific Latin, which in turn comes from two concepts in the Greek language: bíos (which can be translated as “life”) and opsía (whose translation is “sight”). A biopsy consists of observing a sample taken from a living being through a microscope to provide an accurate diagnosis.
There are multiple types of biopsy, which can be classified according to two different criteria: the anatomical structure, and the method used. Let’s see below some of those that we find in the first group:
* tissue biopsy: performed in the context of fiberoptic bronchoscopy, a medical test used to determine the treatment of diseases in the lungs and airways. An example of this type of biopsy is the transbronchial;
* Soft tissue biopsy: it is performed on lesions that generate suspicion if a treatment has not yet been determined or if to do so it is necessary to know if it is a case of cancer;
* bone biopsy: it is carried out by means of an x-ray of the affected bone;
* Bone marrow biopsy: it is carried out by pathologists, internists and, mainly, hematologists, with samples of bone marrow that come from the sternum, the sacrum or the posterior superior iliac crest of the pelvis, with the aim of diagnosing the causes of certain blood problems. It is one of the most common types of biopsy, since it is used to diagnose lung cancer;
* Pleural biopsy: it is suitable for cases of pleural effusion and peripheral tumor. The most commonly used needle in this procedure is called a Vim-Silverman. It requires local anesthesia, and it is not a particularly risky technique, therefore it is possible to repeat it successively without serious consequences;
* Perioperative biopsy: this type of biopsy is also known by the name of extemporaneous, and it is carried out while a patient is in the operating room, in full operation, to determine if a tissue sample is malignant, benign or delayed and to decide in which direction to proceed with the operation.
On the other hand, we can recognize different types of biopsy according to the technique used by doctors:
* Excisional biopsy: another name it receives is excision, and it is a procedure that consists of completely removing an organ or a tumor, with local or general anesthesia. Given that it carries a high risk, its use has been declining in recent times in pursuit of other interventions;
* Incisional biopsy: consists of removing or cutting only a portion of tissue, tumor or mass by surgery. It is very common to study tumors in the kidneys, lung, liver and brain, because it is not possible to remove the organs, although sometimes the reason is that the lesion is too large or difficult to define;
* stereotaxic biopsy: it is a group of interventions that are performed by means of images with which it is possible to determine the coordinates of the lesion. It is applied, for example, to observe breast lesions that are impossible to palpate, and for this it is necessary to have a mammogram;
* Endoscopic biopsy: it is performed with the help of an endoscope, which is inserted into a hole, either natural or created through an incision, to observe the lesions and remove small portions of them. It is used to diagnose cancer colorectal, stomach and esophagus.