What is an incisional biopsy?

An incisional biopsy is taken to sample a rash or take part of lesion to help make a diagnosis. Local anaesthetic is injected which stings for a few seconds but then the procedure is painless. An ellipse of skin is removed to be examined under the microscope. The wound is closed with stitches to leave a linear scar. A dressing is then placed on the skin. The sutures need to be removed in 5-14 days depending on the area sampled.

An incisional biopsy is performed in the minor procedure room in the out-patient department. It takes about 30 minutes.

Dr Thomson performing an incisional biopsy: