About Pancreatic Biopsy
This information is intended for general information only and should not be considered as medical advice on the part of Health-Tourism.com. Any decision on medical treatments, after-care or recovery should be done solely upon proper consultation and advice of a qualified physician.
What is Pancreatic biopsy?
Pancreatic biopsy refers to the procedure in which some tissue from an unidentified cyst is extracted from the pancreas and examined to find out the presence of cancer. It helps the doctor in accurate diagnosis. Therefore it is imperative that a conclusive tissue sample is obtained from the pancreas during the biopsy. The shape, size and the position of the cancerous tissue cells extracted in a pancreatic biopsy will determine the category and stage of the pancreatic cancer.
What are the available methods of pancreatic biopsy?
There are many methods by which pancreatic biopsy are carried out. The method that your doctor may use will depend on the placement of the cancerous cyst. The following methods are used for exact diagnosis:
How to prepare for a pancreatic biopsy?
- Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA)
Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) is the most widely used method of biopsy. FNA biopsy can be carried out in two ways:
- Percutaneous Approach
A local anesthetic is applied to your skin from where a needle is inserted. The needle is long and thin and passes through the abdominal wall before reaching the pancreas. A CT scan or an ultrasound guides the needle to the location from where the tumor cells are removed.
- EUS Guided Approach
Live ultrasound images are used in the EUS guided approach to guide the needle which is placed through the endoscope into the timorous mass. This is the most frequently used approach for pancreatic biopsy. It is painless and gives accurate results.
- ERCP Brush Biopsy
You may receive sedatives before this procedure, and an anesthetic spray is used to numb your throat. A small brush is attached to the endoscope which is inserted during an Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio Pancreatography (ERCP). It goes directly to the bile or pancreatic duct. The brush collects the cells that are examined using a microscope. However, this method has low chances to produce accurate results and conclusive diagnosis.
- Laparoscopic Biopsy
In a laparoscopic biopsy a laparoscope is used, which is a long flexible endoscopic tube with a camera and light attached to it. It is a surgery in which small incisions are made in the abdomen through with the laparoscope and other tools are inserted through the incisions to remove tissues from the pancreas. Images of the pancreas are transmitted from the laparoscope to a monitor for the doctor to view and operate the procedure.
- Before the procedure you should inform the doctor about your health conditions and concerns such as:
- Allergies to certain drugs
- Medications that you may be taking
- Bleeding problems
- Heart or lung disease
- You may be required to stop certain medication a week before the procedure if it is advised by your doctor.
- Your stomach may need to be empty for certain biopsy methods such as ERCP.
- You may need to have some medical tests before the biopsy.
Duration of procedure/surgery : Fine Needle Aspiration: approximately 5 to 10 minutes
ERCP: 30 minutes to 1 hour
Days admitted : None. Pancreatic biopsy is usually done on an outpatient basis.
Anesthesia : General anesthesia is used during a laparoscopic biopsy
Risks : The following risks may be involved:
- Inflammation of the pancreas
- Reactions to the anesthesia
- Allergic reaction to medication
- Excessive blood loss
- Blood poisoning
- Inflammation of the bile ducts
After care : - Patients who have had a sedative should not drive, operate machines, or consume alcohol for 24 hours after the procedure.
- The doctor’s instructions should be followed carefully.
- Some medication should be avoided for a week after the procedure.
- You should refrain from vigorous physical activity for a minimum of 24 hours following the biopsy.
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