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Punch biopsy?

3737 Views 11 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  JeanKBBMMMAAN
I know, I know, medical advice on the internet.............

I am wondering how big an area a punch biopsy can get?

Lilly has a very small lump below her ear. They aspirated it and saw no mast cells. I had the vet send it out anyway. It came back suspicious so they are removing it tomorrow with a punch biopsy since it is so small. I am just wondering if a punch biopsy will be able to get it all (vet said it will), and what the procedure entails.

Not that I am doubting the vet (OK, I am), but I just want to make sure a punch biopsy will get all of it and we won't have to go back.

Here is a pic. It's the tiny speck........

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Oops. Too late to delete----I googled it without scaring myself too much.
Mods, please delete! Thanks
I can't see your picture from this computer at work and it's been a few years since I've seen a punch biopsy, but they're often used for skin lesions in people. They use a hollow circular blade that sort of takes a core about the size of a pencil eraser - about a 3-4mm core.

So since I can't see the photo, but you say it's a tiny speck, I think the punch biopsy would cover the area just fine

Edited: I posted this before I saw your second post!
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Thank you. Now I am just concerned with what it could be...........
It is also used to remove melanoma in people.
The use a cylinder with a sharp end that cust out a circular section of the skin. A 3-4mm diamter lesion was removed from my dog. It was done in local. The incision is then stiched up.
If you want to go safe, you can send it in and the pathology lab can verify that the perimeter is clear.

OK, now I duck and go back to feeling guilty for giving information over the internet that someone may chose to use in some way. Please feel free to disregard what I said.

I wonder, if health information should not be given over the internet, why is there a health section on the board.
Originally Posted By: RebelGSD.....I wonder, if health information should not be given over the internet, why is there a health section on the board.
It's not the information that is bad, it's what people do with it.

We all learn a lot by asking and sharing. I don't think it's a stretch to say that a lot of dogs (and humans) have been helped by boards like this. Sometimes just knowing more information allows us to ask the vet better questions, sometimes it helps us catch things that the vet overlooked, and sometimes it just makes us feel better to know more.

M&J, the only concern I would have about using the punch biopsy is that the get clear enough margins. I know with mast cell tumors, sometimes after the pathology report is back, if not enough was taken, they will go in a second time.

But since what you describe was so small, I bet this was sufficient.

Do be sure to come back and let us know what they found. Our GSDs get so many lumps and bumps, that it's good to know more about them.

Hmmmm.....maybe we should have a title in the index called lumps and bumps.....
No no, this is fine. I take my dogs to the vet at a drop of a hat, so this is just supplemental info.
Just looking for experiences b/c if I google the stuff it COULD be I will need to be sedated.
I just hope they get it all and it hasn't gone anywhere else, never to return. To my unprofessional hands, there isn't any lump underneath it, so hopefully it is contained in the skin and they can get it all.
Whatever it is, the vet didn't seem all that concerned since it is so small. She just wants it off and identified b/c the report came back as suspicious, with a list of things it could be--including cancers.

LisaT. Thanks. The vet ruled out mast cells when she did the aspiration. I insisted she send it out so she went and got another sample. I am so glad I went with my gut b/c I am a firm believer in catching stuff when it is small.
My silky had a bout with mast cell cancer years ago and the margins were wide enough, and it never returned. I am on the fence about this punch biopsy being sufficient to get the clean margins, so I am sure I will make a fool of myself tomorrow telling the vet to do what she has to do to get those clean margins.

Jean, where are you????????
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Originally Posted By: M&J....... I am on the fence about this punch biopsy being sufficient to get the clean margins, so I am sure I will make a fool of myself tomorrow telling the vet to do what she has to do to get those clean margins......
LOL. The pathology report should tell you if the margins are clear
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Thanks. Now I am checking her over and I am finding all kinds of little bumps etc. I cut a chunk of hair from each spot so I would know where to show the vet. Only one looks similar to the original, and everything is very, very small.
Thanks for bearing with me. I hate when the 'C' word is mentioned.
It's very hard to see.

Is it like a little nipple? But nothing underneath it-or is it a mound with a thing on top, like more of a point? What about the other little bumps? Do they look similar? Good thing you found it-that is really tiny.

And you know, I ask these questions without a clue as to what they mean if it is one way or another.

I would probably call my vet back, tell him he sounded like Charlie Brown's teacher the first time and that I have my pen and paper ready so he can retell me what he thought we were looking at. If he gave any indication or I did miss something.

I also tend to repeat things so that they know I am very worried about a certain concept-so in this case I would be repeating punch biopsy and margins, and would include it in my list when I dropped her off for surgery. Repeatedly.
Thanks Jean, I know you are very busy. So again, thanks.

Already talked to the vet again. LOL. She is going to meet me when I bring her in so we can go over each lump and decide what to do. Of course, I will bring her Dunkin Donuts Latte so she is on her toes during surgery.
Most of the bumps seem like things I have seem before, so I am not too worried. But better to have them checked.
There is one that is similar to the original, a few inches from it, so I know I am going to have them take that off, as well.

To answer your questions Dr. Jean (Honorary DVM), it started as just a little white/pink raised area on her skin. Tiny. It was just a fluke that I mentioned it to the vet when we were there for her checkup the other day.
It didn't turn that dark color until the other day when they did the two aspirations. They both look like the bump you would get from one ingrown hair.
No, I am afraid of what I don't know I know-you know what I mean? I was at the vet office the other day, mentioned two things about another dog and he knew immediately what was wrong-I just wanted to Vulcan mind meld right then! There is just SO much.

I got distracted here in the health section-weird skin stuff all around here-and let's not google. Waiting for 3K9Mom and some others to come in here and give you some good information and calming signals.

Good idea on the Latte-but she has to drink it slowly so as not to get the shakes!

Can you post a picture of that sweet girl for everyone to see? She is stunning.
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