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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

Painkiller or numbing medicine is first applied to the area. For large sores or sores of the throat, general anesthesia may be needed. This means you will be asleep during the procedure.

All or part of the problem area (lesion) is removed. It is sent to the laboratory to check for problems. If a growth in the mouth or throat needs to be removed, the biopsy will be done first. This is followed by the actual removal of the growth.

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 growth removal or if general anesthesia is used, you will likely be told not to eat for 6 to 8 hours before the test.

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 Results

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

What Abnormal Results Mean

Abnormal results may mean:

Risks

Risks of the procedure may include:

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

Considerations

Avoid hot or spicy food after the biopsy.

References

Harreus U. Malignant neoplasms of the oropharynx. In: Flint PW, Haughey BH, Lund LJ, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2010:chap 100.


Review Date: 11/25/2014
Reviewed By: Ashutosh Kacker, MD, BS, Professor of Clinical Otolaryngology, Weill Cornell Medical College, and Attending Otolaryngologist, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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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