Dr Gillman diagnoses lumps, bumps and diseases of the mouth using imaging and biopsy and successfully treats them using surgical and non-surgical approaches.
What is a Biopsy and Why Do I Need One?
The mouth and jaw can be affected by a number of problems that cause pain or impair everyday function. These include mouth ulcers, pigmented lesions, polyps and overgrowth of mucosal tissue, cysts, inflammation, infection, loose teeth, swelling and numbness to name but a few. These conditions are often easily diagnosed through clinical examination, but when the problem persists and does not resolve after initial treatment, or if imaging shows something suspicious, it may be necessary to perform diagnostic surgery, also known as biopsy.
Biopsy is the removal of unhealthy (pathological) tissue, to allow for diagnosis of disease.
What Does the Biopsy Involve?
The biopsy procedure is carried out under local anaesthestic to numb the area being biopsied. A small amount of the problematic tissue is removed and the wound is closed immediately using dissolvable stitches. Sometimes a needle biopsy is used in which a small needle is used to extract tissue and fluid from a lump or gland. In certain cases, usually in the case of small bumps and swellings the biopsy would involve complete removal of the abnormal tissue. The biopsy process is painless and only takes a few minutes. The sample taken will be sent to a laboratory for histopathological examination and the results are received within 1-3 weeks. The results enable us to determine the cause of the problem and determine an appropriate treatment plan. In some cases the results may indicate that no further treatment is necessary.
What Should I Expect Before and After the Procedure?
Some pain or swelling may be experienced once the local anaesthetic has worn off. Although there may be a little bleeding at the time of biopsy this usually stops very quickly and is unlikely to be a problem if the wound is stitched. Until the anaesthetic wears off, take care not to bite numb areas of your mouth. Teeth should be cleaned normally on the day of the procedure and gentle use of a mouthwash may be necessary from the day following surgery if you find that food catches around the stitched site.