A biopsy is a medical procedure in Singapore which a small sample of your tissue is extracted for examination in a laboratory. A brain biopsy, specifically, is used as a diagnostic method to identify types of brain tumours or lesions in the brain. A biopsy is typically performed when other non-invasive diagnostic methods, such as imaging (MRIs, X-rays, or CT scans) and blood tests are inconclusive.
Additionally, a biopsy provides the opportunity to lay out a tailored treatment plan and determine the stage or severity of a disease, which is crucial for predicting the likely course of your illness and prognosis. In cases of chronic diseases, repeated biopsies over time can help monitor how your condition is progressing and adjust treatment strategies accordingly.
There are a few biopsy methods in Singapore that may be employed to extract samples from the brain for analysis. Types of biopsy methods include:
Patients are sedated using general anaesthesia to ensure their comfort and safety. Biopsies are relatively invasive, therefore, there are only considered when the benefits of obtaining a definitive diagnosis outweigh the risks associated with the surgery.
The results you can expect when undergoing a biopsy depend on several factors. These include the reason for the biopsy, the type of tissue or sample collected, and the laboratory analysing the sample.
Some general expectations regarding biopsy results include diagnosis confirmation, disease identification, staging (the extent and spread of the diseases), treatment guidance, prognostic information, and personalised care.
It is important to note that the timing of receiving biopsy results varies. Some results may be available within a few days, while more complex cases may take several weeks. Your neurosurgeon should communicate the results, explain their significance, and discuss the next steps in your medical care. If you have concerns or questions about your biopsy results, discuss them with your neurosurgeon.
The number of sessions needed after the initial biopsy varies widely depending on the nature of your condition and the treatment approach your neurosurgeon recommends. Sometimes, a biopsy may be a one-time procedure to obtain diagnostic information. However, you may require multiple sessions for ongoing treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or disease management.
Your neurosurgeon will determine the appropriate sessions based on your diagnosis and treatment plan. It is essential to have open and regular communication with them to understand your treatment schedule and expectations related to your biopsy and any subsequent sessions.
A biopsy is not typically painful during the procedure as local anaesthesia is used to numb the area, so you will not feel any pain. However, you may experience some discomfort or mild pain after the procedure, which can be managed with pain medication.
A biopsy, like any medical procedure, carries certain risks. These can include bleeding, infection, damage to surrounding structures, and adverse reactions to anaesthesia. Your doctor will carefully assess these risks and discuss them with you before the procedure so that you can make an informed decision.
Yes, there are alternatives to a biopsy depending on the (and your specific) situation. Non-invasive diagnostic techniques such as MRI and CT scans can often provide valuable information about brain abnormalities. Additionally, less invasive procedures such as lumbar punctures or blood tests may be considered to gather diagnosis.
It is important to note that biopsies are not usually recommended as the first line of diagnostic investigation. Your neurosurgeon will explore less invasive methods first in most cases.