Tissue Biopsy: Understanding the Basics of Histopathological Examination

Tissue biopsy is a common medical procedure that involves the removal of a small sample of tissue from the body for examination under a microscope. This process is known as histopathological examination, and it can provide doctors with critical insights into the nature of a patient's illness or disease.

Indications for Tissue Biopsy

Tissue biopsy is often used when doctors need to investigate a potential abnormality or disease in a patient's body. These may include unexplained lumps or growths, suspicious skin lesions, abnormal imaging results, and other symptoms that cannot be explained by routine medical examinations. By taking a tissue biopsy, doctors can obtain a more accurate diagnosis and develop a targeted treatment plan.

Types of Tissue Biopsy

There are various types of tissue biopsies, which can vary depending on the location and type of tissue being examined. Some of the most common types include:

  • Needle biopsy: a small needle is inserted into the tissue to remove a sample and is performed using imaging guidance.
  • Endoscopic biopsy: a flexible tube with a camera is inserted into the body to visualise and obtain a sample of tissue.
  • Incisional biopsy: a small piece of the tissue is removed for examination.
  • Excisional biopsy: the entire lump or growth is removed and examined.

Histopathological Examination

The process of histopathological examination involves taking the tissue sample and examining it under a microscope. This allows doctors to assess the composition of the tissue sample, identify any cellular abnormalities, evaluate the extent of disease progression, and determine the potential for malignancy. It is a precise and meticulous process that requires highly trained pathologists to interpret the results obtained from histopathological examination.

Potential Risks and Complications of Tissue Biopsy

Like any medical procedure, there are potential risks and complications associated with tissue biopsy. These may include bleeding, infection, pain, swelling, or nerve damage. However, the risk of these complications is typically low and can be minimised by following proper preparation and post-procedure care instructions from your healthcare provider.


Tissue biopsy and histopathological examination are essential medical procedures that can help doctors diagnose and treat a wide variety of health conditions. By understanding the basics of tissue biopsy, you can feel more informed and better prepared if you need to undergo this procedure in the future. Remember to consult with your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about tissue biopsy or any other medical procedure. Your health is important, and your doctor is the best resource to help you achieve optimal well-being.