Oropharynx lesion biopsy

An oropharynx lesion biopsy is surgery in which tissue from an abnormal growth or mouth sore is removed and checked for problems.

How is the Test 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.

Preparation 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 - 8 hours before the test.

How will the Test Feel?

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 is the Test Performed?

This test is done to determine the cause of a sore (lesion) in the throat.

Normal Results for Oropharynx lesion biopsy

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

What Abnormal Results Mean

Oropharynx lesion biopsy Risks

  • Infection of the site
  • Bleeding at the site

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

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

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Review Date: 11/9/2012
Reviewed By: Seth Schwartz, MD, MPH, Otolaryngologist, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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