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What is a Biopsy?

A biopsy involves taking a piece of skin or tissue from the body to look under a microscope. A doctor will see if the tissue contains cancer or other abnormal cells. The results of the biopsy can help determine the next best step in diagnosis or treatment.

How is a Biopsy Done?

A small amount of tissue is taken using a special tool. When the tissue is taken the patient may be given a numbing agent to prevent pain and/or sometimes one is sedated.

For certain urologic diseases, biopsies can be done on the

  • Prostate
  • Kidney
  • Bladder
  • Ureter

A biopsy of a prostate

A biopsy of a prostate
© 2005 Terese Winslow LLC, U.S. Govt. has certain rights

Biopsies of the prostate or kidney are done with a special needle. The doctor uses ultrasound or a CT scan to guide the needle.

An endoscope (long tube with an attached light) is used for a bladder or ureteral biopsy. The endoscope is inserted through the urethra.