A painkiller or numbing medicine is first applied to the area. For large sores or sores of the throat, general anesthesia may be needed.
All or part of the lesion is removed and sent to the laboratory to check for problems. If there is a growth in the mouth or throat, the biopsy may be the first part of tumor removal.
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 tumor removal or if general anesthesia is to be used, you may be told not to eat for 6 - 8 hours before the test.
How the test will 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 the test is performed
This test is done to determine the cause of a sore (lesion) in the throat.
This test is only performed when there is an abnormal tissue area.
If there is bleeding, the blood vessels may be sealed (cauterized) with an electric current or laser.
Avoid hot or spicy food after the biopsy.
Harrus U. Malignant neoplasms of the oropharynx. In: Cummings CW, Flint PW, Haughey BH, et al, eds. Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa; Mosby Elsevier; 2010: chap 100.
Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; and Seth Schwartz, MD, MPH, Otolaryngologist, Virginia Mason Medical Cener, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.