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Upper airway biopsy
Alternative namesBiopsy - upper airway
DefinitionA diagnostic procedure in which a small piece of tissue is removed from the upper airway (nose, mouth, throat) for examination.
How the test is performed
The health care provider -- ear, nose and throat (ENT); oral surgeon; or pulmonologist (a pulmonary "lung" specialist trained to perform a bronchoscopy ) -- will spray a topical or local anesthetic in your mouth and throat. Then, a cannula (a metal tube about 6-inches long and curved on one end) is inserted, curved end first, to hold the tongue out of the way.
An anesthetic is injected through the cannula, enabling it to run down the back of the throat. This will cause coughing at first, which will cease as the anesthetic is increased. When the area feels "thick," it is sufficiently numb.
How to prepare for the testFast for 6-12 hours before the test. You must sign an informed consent form.
Infants and children:
The physical and psychological preparation you can provide for this or any test or procedure depends on your child's age, interests, previous experiences, and level of trust. For specific information regarding how you can prepare your child, see the following topics as they correspond to your child's age:
How the test will feel
Local anesthesia is used to numb the throat, so there may be a feeling of fluid running down the back of the throat or the need to cough or gag as the anesthetic takes effect. There may be sensations of pressure or mild tugging.
When the anesthetic wears off, your throat may feel scratchy for several days. After the test, the cough reflex will return in 1 to 2 hours, then you may eat and drink normally.
Why the test is performed
This test may be performed when an abnormality of the upper airway is suspected. It may also be performed as part of a bronchoscopy when abnormalities include the upper airway as well as the lung tissue.
Normal ValuesThere are normal upper airway tissues, with no abnormal growths or inclusions.
What abnormal results meanDisorders or conditions that may be discovered include:
What the risks are
Special considerationsNot applicable.
Update Date: 10/27/2003James L. Demetroulakos M.D. F.A.C.S., Department Of Otolaryngology, North Shore Medical Center, Salem, MA. Clinical Instructor in Otology and Laryngology Harvard Medical School. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT