A biopsy is the collection of tissue to be analyzed by the pathologist. It is often the gold standard of diagnosis. Ideally, from the pathologist’s perspective, all lesions would be biopsied so that treatment could be based on a confirmed diagnosis.
Veterinarian’s Guide to Maximizing Biopsy Results
However, as with most decisions, the decision to perform a biopsy should be based on a cost-benefit analysis. The costs include time, biopsy procedure fee, histology fee, pet discomfort, possible infection or spread of disease, and owner inconvenience. The potential benefits are an accurate diagnosis and prognostic information to guide future treatment, decrease patient suffering, and avoid the cost of treating an assumed incorrect condition.
There are many steps in the biopsy process that can be optimized to ensure minimizing the cost and maximizing the benefit. This manual is designed to help clinicians submit cost-effective biopsies by providing suggestions for each step of the biopsy submission, separate organ specific biopsy considerations, a step-by-step biopsy submission checklist, and a list of general biopsy dos and don’ts. It is hoped that this manual provides enough detail to be helpful, but not so much that the useful information is obscured, and that it will be consulted often prior to biopsy collection.
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