Bone marrow biopsy
For bone marrow aspiration, a small quantity of aspiration or bone marrow fluid is collected for further studies at a laboratory. This may also be accompanied by taking solid tissues of bone marrow, usually secured from the back of hip bones.
Further laboratory examinations are conducted to check for the presence of abnormal cells. The size, number, and maturity of these cells are also evaluated.
A deeper sample of the skin is collected that involves all the layers of the skin – superficial parts of the fat or subcutis, dermis, and epidermis.
Here, the top layers of the skin are shaved off while the patient is under the influence of local anesthesia. This is effective in diagnosing the prevalence of skin cancer like squamous cell skin cancers, certain basal cell cancers, and skin lesions.
Reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM)
This enables the medical professional to analyze the affected site without cutting into layers of the skin as a sample.
Prerequisites of the test
The process of preparation for a biopsy test depends on the type of test that will be done. For instance, in the case of an open biopsy procedure that will require the administration of general anesthesia, the patient needs to fast, that is, avoid the intake of food and fluids for quite a few hours before the scheduled time for a biopsy. Your doctor will guide you regarding the number of hours you need to fast before the test.
For skin biopsies, fasting is not required. On the other hand, taking laxatives and enemas are essential for a colonoscopy. Strictly follow the advice of your doctor regarding the restrictions or medications that you should follow before a biopsy test.
Let your doctor know about your history of medical conditions and the medications that you might be taking at present or in the recent past.
These medications include OTC (over-the-counter) drugs, prescription drugs, vitamins, supplements, and herbals. Also, enlighten them about any known history of allergies. There are some medications that may alter the accuracy of biopsy test results, and hence, have to be temporarily discontinued before the test.
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