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Over the years, I have been able to appreciate that there are certain words that worry, and very much, the parents who hear them. One of them is the term biopsy. What is a biopsy? Implying? Does it mean that your son is serious? What do biopsies help? Does doing a biopsy mean we think your child has cancer? We will try to resolve each and every one of these doubts. Here are the answers to 5 questions about biopsies of children.
If your doctor has told you that he is going to do a biopsy on your child, that means a small sample of tissue will be removed from your body. Said sample will be evaluated later by another doctor, the pathologist, and a diagnosis can be obtained from this evaluation. Perhaps before this these questions arise:
1. What parts of the body can be biopsied?
Any area of the body can be biopsied, from the cutaneous surface (skin) to the internal viscera. The way to obtain this fabric varies, depending on the area that is of our interest. Some biopsies are obtained by processes such as a direct puncture from the outside (skin, muscle, liver, etc.), others through an endoscopy (large intestine, bronchi, etc.), and others through surgical intervention.
2. Do biopsies hurt?
To avoid pain, your doctor will tell you how the procedure will be handled, and what type of analgesia to administer to your child. Normally, the person in charge of this administration will be an anesthesiologist, or a pediatrician trained in sedoanalgesia. For this reason, you should not be afraid of the appearance of pain.
3. Is the result of a biopsy instantaneous?
Generally not, except in cases of significant severity or suspicion of malignancy, in which case the sample will be sent instantly to a pathologist for an express assessment. Depending on each hospital center, it is normal to obtain the result of a biopsy in a period that varies between one week and three months.
4. Does taking a biopsy mean that cancer is suspected?
No, biopsy and cancer do not necessarily go hand in hand. Biopsies help establish a wide and varied catalog of diagnoses, such as esophagitis, celiac disease or Hirschprung's disease. But also, of course, if a cancer is suspected, the confirmation will be obtained through the evaluation of the damaged tissue.
5. With what devices are biopsies analyzed?
The evaluation of the processed sample will be made by examining the piece in detail through an optical microscope, after staining it with specific dyes (hematoxylin-eosin, Masson's trichrome, silver impregnation, Giemsa, etc.). On certain occasions, a more complex device called an electron microscope must be used.
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