How to Deal with Pain in Biopsy?
Biopsy is a surgical process in which a doctor collects your skin tissue for diagnosing the disease. In simple words, a doctor removes your skin tissue. The removed skin tissue is delivered to the lab where it is put on a glass slide and stained with certain dyes that highlight different types and signs of cells.
Biopsy is conducted when the primary methods to understand the health conditions don’t work. Besides, it helps physicians determine the best treatment.
Some of the major types of biopsy are needle biopsy, CT guided biopsy, bone biopsy, bone marrow biopsy, liver biopsy and surgical biopsy.
Here we have explained such biopsies:
Bone marrow biopsy:
A slender needle is used to collect small sample of bone marrow. This type of biopsy is conducted in case of disease like leukemia.
Colpscope is a small microscope used to test female cervix while a sample is collected. The aim of this biopsy is to check the reasons for an abnormal pap test result.
Endoscope is a flexible tube that is inserted into an orifice like mouth or anus or through a small skin incision. Once the lump is accessed, cutting tools are threaded through the tube so that a sample of tissue can be collected.
In excisional biopsy, the entire lump of abnormal skin is removed. Later, your wounds are stitched. It’s an hour long process. Excisional biopsy is generally used for breast lumps.
A small portion of the lump is collected. This biopsy is generally used for collecting lumps from connective tissue like muscle.
A slender hypodermic needle is used to take a small sample of lump to diagnose conditions of the liver or thyroid.
In this type of biopsy, a tool is used to make a hole through the uppermost layers of the skin. It is used to diagnose skin conditions.
This biopsy is done with the help of x-rays that guide the surgeon’s needle to the lump. It is generally used whenever the lump is not visible or hard to feel.
What to Expect from Your Biopsy?
Biopsies vary based on the complexity to obtain the tissues. It is known as invasiveness in medical terminology. Simple biopsy is done in the physician’s office during the same visit. More invasive biopsies are performed in a hospital, surgery center or a specialized physician’s office. You have to make a special appointment for the biopsy. You may be given a topical anesthetic shot or pain relief medicines to ease pain and discomfort.
Pain and Discomfort are Usual Parts of Biopsy:
However, it can’t be denied that biopsy does hurt. Many people have compared the pain to something like peeling off the skin. Pain or discomfort will last for some hours, even after the process. Biopsies are painful due to the prick by the needle, sudden stretching of tissue and shots.
Then, there is a risk of bleeding, especially if the biopsy is done on the scalp, face, genitals and senior patients with atrophic skin.
Pain Management Strategies for Biopsy:
- A physician may use needle of specific sizes like 26 or 30 G to minimize discomfort and pain.
- Pre-cooling of the skin with ice cubes can be performed to dull the skin tissues.
- Local anesthetics like EMLA cream or numbing cream are applied to the skin.
- Painkiller and anesthetic shots are given to dull the paining sensation.
Why Numbing Cream is the Best Option for Suppressing Biopsy Pain?
Numbing cream or EMLA is the best among the pain management options listed above. If you fear the numbing shots, it is likely to be a double trouble for you. On the top of that, a painkiller medication may not be that effective for severe biopsies. This is why numbing cream is the best option to deal with pain and discomfort occurring during biopsy.
Numbing cream is topical anesthetic that can be applied to the skin like any ordinary skin cream, unlike shots and painkillers. A numbing cream temporarily numbs your skin for 1-2 hours. It contains lidocaine or benzocaine which dulls your pain receptors. Eventually, these pain receptors are not able to send pain signals to the brain. And you don’t feel anything done to your skin.
How to Choose Right Numbing Cream for Biopsy?
Given that biopsy can be anything from simple to invasive, you should choose right numbing cream for the process. Simply put, go for the right one which matches the intensity of the process. Some numbing creams have mild effect, making them inefficient for critical biopsies.
Here are the things helping you to choose the right one:
- 5% Lidocaine
- Positive Feedback from Users
- Reputed Manufacturers
Luckily, Dr. Numb meets all these criteria of choosing numbing cream for biopsy. Dr. Numb is a highly recommended numbing cream for tattooing, piercing and surgical incisions. It contains 5% lidocaine which is enough to keep your skin numb for up to 2 hours.
How to Use Numbing Cream for Biopsy?
- Wash your skin with soap and warm water to remove debris or oil hoarding over the top. Pat it dry.
- Apply the first thick layer of the cream (as mentioned on the pack) on your skin. Spread it evenly.
- Then, apply second layer which should be thicker than the first one.
- Cover your skin with a plastic wrap. It will generate heat to potent the numbing effect.
- Remove the cover after one hour.
The numbing effect will last anywhere between 1-2 hours. It all depends on how you use the cream.
Safety Precautions for Using a Numbing Cream:
- Avoid wearing numbing cream for longer. Wipe it off after one hour or as mentioned on the pack.
- Avoid applying numbing cream to the broken skin as it can enter into your blood stream.
- Don’t use heating pad or bandage/cloth to generate heat.
- Share your medical condition with a doctor before using a numbing cream.
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