Oropharynx lesion biopsyThroat lesion biopsy; Biopsy - mouth or throat; Mouth lesion biopsy; Oral cancer - biopsy
An oropharynx lesion biopsy is surgery in which tissue from an abnormal growth or mouth sore is removed and checked for problems.
How the Test is Performed
Painkiller or numbing medicine is first applied to the area. For large sores or sores of the throat, general anesthesia may be needed. This means you will be asleep during the procedure.
All or part of the problem area (lesion) is removed. It is sent to the laboratory to check for problems. If a growth in the mouth or throat needs to be removed, the biopsy will be done first. This is followed by the actual removal of the growth.
How to Prepare for the Test
If a simple painkiller or local numbing medicine is to be used, there is no special preparation. If the test is part of a growth removal or if general anesthesia is used, you will likely be asked not to eat for 6 to 8 hours before the test.
How the Test will Feel
You may feel pressure or tugging while the tissue is being removed. After the numbness wears off, the area may be sore for a few days.
Why the Test is Performed
This test is done to determine the cause of a sore (lesion) in the throat.
This test is only done when there is an abnormal tissue area.
What Abnormal Results Mean
Abnormal results may mean:
- Cancer (such as squamous cell carcinoma)
- Benign lesions (such as papilloma)
- Fungal infections (such as candida)
- Oral lichen planus
- Precancerous sore (leukoplakia)
- Viral infections (such as Herpes simplex)
Risks of the procedure may include:
- Infection of the site
- Bleeding at the site
If there is bleeding, the blood vessels may be sealed (cauterized) with an electric current or laser.
Avoid hot or spicy food after the biopsy.
Lee FE-H, Treanor JJ. Viral infections. In: Broaddus VC, Mason RJ, Ernst JD, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 32.
Sinha P, Harreus U. Malignant neoplasms of the oropharynx. In: Flint PW, Haughey BH, Lund V, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 97.
Review Date: 11/4/2018
Reviewed By: Josef Shargorodsky, MD, MPH, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.