Oral Biopsy in Wailuku, HI (Maui)

The idea of needing a biopsy stirs up a hefty amount of fear in many patients. At Maui Jaw Surgical Institute, we’re here to reassure you that an oral biopsy is a safe and effective method that serves to guide us as we determine next steps for treating your oral issue. Read on to learn more about what oral biopsies are and how we use them to ensure you receive the best care possible.

What is an oral biopsy?

An oral biopsy is a very minor surgery in which we remove a small amount of oral tissue and use it for diagnosis and treatment planning. The biopsy is the first step in the treatment process.

What is the purpose of an oral biopsy?

You may need an oral biopsy performed for a variety of reasons. If you have oral and/or bone lesions that get in the way of proper oral function or persistent oral inflammation that has no explanation, we may perform an oral biopsy to determine the cause. When an X-ray proves ineffective in helping us identify a lesion and when the lesion cannot be ruled out as cancerous, we use oral biopsies to collect more information.

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What to Expect During Your Oral Biopsy

Dr. Strawn will begin with a thorough consultation that includes reviewing your medical and dental records as well performing clinical exams to ensure we gather a full picture of your medical status.

Before the surgery, you have the option of receiving some level of sedation. Once you’re comfortable, we apply a local anesthetic near the lesion or regionally with a nerve block to ensure you don’t feel a thing. Once the area is adequately numb, we make an elliptical incision around the lesion, allowing for a small margin and freeing it from the surrounding soft tissues. We submit the sample to our oral pathologist and typically receive results back within one to two weeks.

Upon completion of the oral biopsy, we apply firm pressure to the area to stop the bleeding. We use resorbable sutures to close the incision and apply more sterile gauze to the surgical site to assist with blood clotting and prevent any swallowing of blood. We will send you home with a packet of gauze that you are to apply and change every 30 minutes to manage any bleeding from the surgical site over the course of the day.

Bone Tumors

When you have a solid or semi-solid mass within bone that is made of cells that are different from those usually found in that location, we use a biopsy to remove the bone tumor. Also called soft-tissue tumors, these masses may be found on your tongue, cheeks, lips, under the tongue, and gums. We use the soft tissue that we retrieved during the biopsy to determine if the tumor is benign or malignant and proper treatment. A correct diagnosis ensures we use the best treatment possible.