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Incisional biopsy is a biopsy in which only a sample of the suspicious tissue is cut into (incised) and removed for purposes of diagnosis. A incisional biopsy is in contrast to an excisional biopsy in which an entire lesion, usually a tumor, is removed. It is typically done when needle biopsies are inconclusive, or if the lump or rash is too extensive to be easily removed.
The procedure can be done in the office with local anesthesia. Complications are very rare, and they include local bleeding and bruising, pain, infection, allergic reaction to the numbing medicine used in the procedure, or damage to arteries or nerves under the skin.
Stitches are needed to close the wound and will also need to be removed sometime following the procedure. If needed, your doctor will place absorbable stitches deep inside the wound to control bleeding, but they won’t need to be taken out.