What is a biopsy, is it dangerous, is it painful, how is it done and in what cases?.. This is an incomplete list of questions that worry many patients. Most people are afraid to hear this term, as well as any other oncology-related words.
In reality, the biopsy is a common examination that is widely used in diagnosis to determine the type of damage to various organs. The biopsy is crucial when the physician defines treatment tactics.
Biopsies are used to diagnose diseases of the prostate, kidneys, genitals, thyroid gland, breast, cervix, etc.
We cannot but mention the innovation of Guram Karazanashvili’s Urology Hub in the region, a micro-ultrasound examination. It allows for targeted and fusion-guided biopsies – state-of-the-art methods of screening and accurate diagnosis of prostate diseases.
What is biopsy?
The biopsy is a medical procedure prescribed for early detection of cancer and involves removal of a sample from the damaged tissue and its analysis. The results of the biopsy rule out or confirm disease processes in the human body.
When is biopsy prescribed?
The biopsy is performed when radiological and laboratory tests cannot confirm the diagnosis. It allows the doctor to examine the cells directly under a microscope.
According to the latest guidelines of the European Association of Urology, the PSA level is considered normal if it does not exceed 2 ng/ml (previously, PSA within the range between 0 and 4 ng/ml was considered normal). In this case, PSA is within normal limits and there is no reason to suspect prostate cancer.
However, if the PSA level is greater than 2 ng/ml, this does not immediately mean prostate cancer and the need for a biopsy. Prostate biopsy is performed in the following cases:
- If PSA is higher than 2 ng/ml and a micro-ultrasound examination of the prostate detects suspicious areas;
- If PSA is higher than 4 ng/ml.
How is it performed?
During a biopsy, a small sample of tissue is taken via a puncture. The sample is then used for histological or cytological analysis. Based on its results, the doctor prescribes treatment: surgery, hormonal therapy, or multimodal treatment.
Types of biopsies
Types of biopsies differ depending on which organ is being examined. The size of the puncture needle also differs depending on the organ. Finally, the organ predetermines whether the process can be visualized via ultrasound or CT scanning.
Here are the biopsy types:
- Fine-needle aspiration biopsy,
- Core needle biopsy,
- Open, or surgical, biopsy,
- Laparoscopic biopsy,
- Endoscopic biopsy.
And, as mentioned above, a new world-class standard in prostate biopsy, a targeted biopsy performed under the control of the ExactVu micro-ultrasound platform. At the moment, in Georgia and in the entire region, this fast and painless procedure is performed only at MMT Hospital
Targeted biopsy, in its turn, can be of several types:
- Microscopy-targeted biopsy,
- Fusion-guided biopsy under simultaneous control of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and standard ultrasound,
- Advanced fusion-guided biopsy under simultaneous control of MRI and micro-ultrasound.
The latter is the most precise and state-of-the-art method, which combines micro-ultrasound and MRI data on the ExactVu micro-ultrasound platform. This device takes the examination to a whole new level of resolution and guarantees a 100% accurate diagnosis of prostate cancer. Here are the benefits of this type of biopsy:
- Precise differentiation of doubtful tissue,
- Accurate visualization of suspicious areas,
- Precise targeting of the suspicious area,
- Real-time targeted biopsy.
FusionVu fusion-guided prostate biopsy also eliminates blind and unnecessary biopsies, saving the patient time and money. FusionVu means accurate diagnosis and effective treatment!
Which organs the sample is taken from?
The tissue sample can be taken from almost any organ. The study determines the type of pathology: for example, whether it is functional or structural. If the diagnosis is already established, the biopsy will help determine the severity and stage of the disease, such as the aggressiveness of the tumor.
Is biopsy painful?
In most cases, it is painless, but this depends on the organ from which the sample is taken. During the procedure, the patient may experience mild pain, which can be relieved with painkillers as recommended by the physician.
How long does the patient have to wait for the results?
It takes a few days to get the results, but it’s hard to tell in advance because additional tests may be required after the initial biopsy.