A biopsy is the removal of tissue from any part of the body in order to examine it for disease. Some biopsies may remove a small tissue sample with a needle while others may surgically remove a suspicious nodule or lump. The type of procedure used to perform a biopsy will depend on the location of the tissue that needs to be examined. Biopsies may be performed using imaging guidance—such as ultrasound, x-ray, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)—to determine exactly where to place a needle through the skin to the area of the abnormality.
For the benefits and risks of a specific biopsy procedure, how to prepare, and more, select a topic below.