In Wednesday’s post on fatty liver in cats, we mentioned biopsy as a method for determining if your cat is suffering from the condition.
What Is a Biopsy?
A biopsy is a surgical procedure in which a veterinarian removes a tissue sample from the body for examination under a microscope. In some cases, the sample removed is very tiny. In other cases, several samples or an entire growth is removed and examined.
What Is a Biopsy Used For?
Biopsies can be used for diagnosing a wide range of conditions. Often, lumps and growths on or under the skin are biopsied. Some are cancerous, but many are benign growths, such as lipomas (fatty tumors) or warts. A biopsy may be recommended to obtain more information about a suspicious lump. A liver may be biopsied to determine the presence or severity of liver damage, and gain vital information about its cause.
How Is a Biopsy Performed?
Some form of anesthesia is generally required to perform a biopsy. Depending on the sample to be biopsied, it may require general anesthesia. If the sample is in the esophagus or stomach, for example, getting the tissue will require that the pet be fully asleep.
Once the tissue is removed, it is examined under a microscope to make or confirm a diagnosis. Results can take a few days