Northside Health Library


Oropharynx lesion biopsy

Definition

An oropharynx lesion biopsy is surgery in which tissue from an abnormal growth or mouth sore is removed and checked for problems.

Alternative Names

Throat lesion biopsy; Biopsy - mouth or throat; Mouth lesion biopsy

How the Test is Performed

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.

Normal Results

This test is only performed when there is an abnormal tissue area.

What Abnormal Results Mean

Risks

  • Infection of the site
  • Bleeding from the site

If there is bleeding, the blood vessels may be sealed (cauterized) with an electric current or laser.

Considerations

Avoid hot or spicy food after the biopsy.

References

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.


Review Date: 11/23/2010
Reviewed By: 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.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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