What is NERVE BIOPSY? What does NERVE BIOPSY mean? NERVE BIOPSY meaning - NERVE BIOPSY definition - NERVE BIOPSY explanation.
Source: Wikipedia.org article, adapted under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ license.
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In medicine, a nerve biopsy is an invasive procedure in which a piece of a nerve is removed from an organism and examined microscopically. A nerve biopsy can lead to the discovery of necrotizing vasculitis, amyloidosis, sarcoidosis, leprosy, metabolic neuropathies, inflammation of the nerve, loss of axon tissue, and demyelination.
In a nerve biopsy, a small sample of your nerve is removed from your body and examined in a laboratory. A nerve biopsy may be necessary if you have numbness, pain, or weakness in places such as your fingers or toes. It can help to determine what your symptoms are caused by. A nerve biopsy is usually only performed when all other options have failed in determining the cause of a disease. It is an outpatient procedure that is performed under local anesthetic.
A nerve biopsy can tell you what the numbness, pain, or weakness you are feeling in your extremities is caused by. It can tell you if the feeling is caused by damage to the myelin sheath, damage to the small nerves, destruction of the axon in the nerve cells, or neuropathies.
The sample piece of nerve is always taken from an affected area. For the three different types of nerve biopsies, there is a slightly different procedure. But, for all of them, you will be given an anesthetic to numb the area that you will be operated on. You will also remain awake for the procedure regardless of the type. Your doctor will make a small incision and to remove part of the nerve and then close your incision with stitches. Once the nerve has been removed from your body, it is then sent to a laboratory for examination.
The biggest risk that you face in having a nerve biopsy is long term nerve damage and permanent loss of feeling. While this is uncommon, it is still a risk when having a nerve biopsy done. Other small risks that you face are discomfort after the procedure, allergic reaction to the anesthetic, and infection.