After the biopsy procedure, your doctor sends the sample to a laboratory for testing. Depending on the skin condition, type of biopsy and the laboratory procedures, results may take several days or a couple of weeks. Results of biopsies for metabolic or genetic testing can take several months or more.
Your doctor may schedule an office appointment to discuss the results of the test. If possible, bring along a family member or friend. It can be difficult to absorb all the information provided during an appointment. The person who accompanies you may remember something that you forgot or missed.
Write down questions that you want to ask your doctor. Don't be afraid to ask questions or to speak up when you don't understand something. Questions you may want to ask include:
- Based on the results, what are my next steps?
- What kind of follow-up, if any, should I expect?
- Are there any factors that might have affected the results of this test and, therefore, may have altered the results?
- Will I need to repeat the test at some point?
- If the skin biopsy showed skin cancer, was all of the cancer removed, or will I need additional treatment?
March 12, 2016
- Alguire PC, et al. Skin biopsy techniques. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 21, 2015.
- Habif TP, ed. Dermatologic surgical procedures. In: Clinical Dermatology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 1, 2015.
- Goldman L, et al., eds. Examination of the skin and an approach to diagnosing skin diseases. In: Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 21, 2015.
- Pfenninger JL, et al., eds. Skin biopsy. In: Pfenninger and Fowler's Procedures for Primary Care. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 1, 2015.
- Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 2, 2015.