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Biopsy for gallbladder cancer

What is a biopsy?

During a biopsy, a doctor removes a sample of tissue or fluid from the body. A pathologist inspects the cells under a microscope to see if they are cancerous. If the cells are found to be cancerous, a biopsy can help determine whether the cancer began at the site of the biopsy, or if it started somewhere else in the body and spread to the biopsy site.

Some biopsies are performed under image guidance, such as ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This allows your doctor to collect cells from deeper inside the body. Depending on the type of biopsy performed, you will receive an anesthetic to minimize any pain.

Biopsy medical animation

Video: Biopsy Medical Animation

Medical animation

Biopsy for gallbladder cancer

In some cases when gallbladder cancer is thought to present based on other tests, a surgeon may remove the gallbladder first and send a sample to the pathologist afterwards. A biopsy may be performed during laparoscopy or cholangiography. When diagnosing gallbladder cancer, your doctor may also use a procedure called fine needle aspiration, in which a fine, thin needle is inserted into the gallbladder to remove cells, usually under the guidance of an ultrasound or CT scan.

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