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In a biopsy, a biopsy (piece of tissue) is taken to investigate whether a certain condition (inflammation, metabolic disease, muscle disease or a tumor) is present.

A biopsy is necessary to determine which treatment can be given. A biopsy is usually the culmination of a diagnostic process that includes an X-ray examination (ultrasound, photo, CT or MRI scan). This earlier study often gives a lot of indications about the type of tumor

Different types of biopsies

There are different types of biopsies, which are usually taken by a doctor. If the tissue is easily accessible (e.g. a place on the skin, bone, or a clearly visible lymph node), a "closed" biopsy can often be chosen. The abnormal tissue is punctured and this is taken away to be examined. If the tissue is not easily accessible (e.g. lungs, abdominal organs), ultrasound, X-ray or an endoscopy are also used to determine the exact location of the tissue. It is usually necessary to make one or more cuts. With an "open" biopsy, a cut is made to assess the tissue before a biopsy is taken. 

Under sedation or anesthesia

A biopsy usually takes place under sedation (intoxication) or anesthesia. This is because of the risk of pain due to the procedure itself and because your child must lie still so that the tissue can be removed from the right place.