The final and most critical step in establishing an accurate diagnosis is performing a biopsy. Imaging workup is done prior to the biopsy in order for your clinician to determine the best and most accessible region to sample within an isolated tumor. Your provider will discuss all possible methods of obtaining a tissue sample and there are several techniques available, such as:

Needle biopsy

  • Less invasive way to obtain tissue
  • A smaller quantity of tissue is available for evaluation
  • Can be done in an office setting for select patients

Open incisional biopsy

  • Provides a larger tissue sample
  • Requires an operative procedure
  • There is a risk of contaminating tissue planes. If this occurs and the sarcoma is spread, removing the sarcoma in the future can be problematic. 

Excisional biopsy

  • Removes  the whole mass
  • This method is reserved for very small superficial lesions and lesions that are clearly benign, based on imaging.

A poorly performed biopsy can result in increased morbidity for a patient and may alter the possible treatment options that are available. Therefore, it is important for patients to be referred to a treatment center with an Orthopaedic Oncologist, like Dr. DiCaprio, before a biopsy is performed in order to avoid complications. Your provider will discuss which biopsy option is best for you.

Helpful information about the hazards associated with biopsy can be found on the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery website in a study by Henry J. Mankin.