This is your standard ARCHIVE page

  • How do I get my results?

    A review (follow-up) appointment will be made at the time of your biopsy, here you will be informed of your results.

    If any treatment is required, this will be discussed and arranged as necessary.

    At this review appointment, we will also confirm the biopsy site is healing properly and that any stitches have dissolved or been removed.

  • When can I start normal activities again?

    We recommend that you do not participate in any heavy exercise on the same day as your biopsy. You should not drink alcohol on the day of your biopsy. These things can increase the risk of bleeding.

    You should avoid smoking for at least 48 hours after the biopsy.

    It is likely you will be able to return to work immediately, depending on how strenuous your work is.

  • Is there anything I should look out for when I go home?

    Some mild oozing and blood-stained saliva is normal.

    However, if you experience bleeding that does not stop with firm pressure after 5-20 minutes, you will need to seek help and advice from a dental/medical professional.

    Details of this will be given on a post-operative information sheet after your treatment.

  • What will happen afterwards?

    You will be given instructions by the surgeon (both verbal and written) on what to expect after the procedure and how to prevent problems.

    You may wish to take simple analgesics (painkillers), such as Paracetamol, to control any discomfort. The surgeon can recommend specific painkillers based on your medical history and any medications you may be taking. Always follow the instructions and dosage.

    You may find the area the sample has been taken from feels slightly swollen for a few days; this is normal.

    It is important to keep the area clean to prevent infection. We recommend using a warm salty mouthwash several times per day (made by dissolving a teaspoon of salt in warm water). Begin using mouthwash the day after your biopsy and continue for 4 days.

    The stitches will usually dissolve in 2-3 weeks, but may take longer depending on the type of suture used.

    If a stitch comes out immediately after the procedure, it is best to return to have it replaced. However, if a few days have passed, there is no need to return.

  • What does the procedure involve?

    The sample will be taken, and usually 2-3 dissolvable stitches will be placed to close the area. This helps to stop any bleeding and helps the area to heal.

    Very occasionally, stitches are not needed and the area will be treated with a Silver Nitrate stick or bipolar electrocauterizing to stop the bleeding and then it will be left to heal.

    Once the surgeon is happy that the area has stopped bleeding and you are feeling well, you will be allowed to leave.

    The whole procedure usually takes approximately 20 minutes.

  • What happens when I arrive?

    The surgeon carrying out your biopsy will confirm the area of the mouth the biopsy is to be taken from and explain the procedure.

    We must seek your consent for any procedure or treatment beforehand. Staff will explain the risks, benefits and alternatives where relevant before they ask for your consent.

    If you are unsure about any aspect of the procedure or treatment proposed, please do not hesitate to ask for more information.

  • The different types of biopsy

    There are different forms of mouth biopsies depending on the site on the mouth and the amount of lining removed.


    In this case, the aim is to remove the entire lesion. This is often done when a lesion is quite small and only affects one part of the mouth.

    Labial Gland Biopsy

    This is a very specific biopsy used to diagnose a condition that affects the salivary glands (small lobules in the lining of the mouth that produce saliva), in patients who suffer from dry mouth.

    Seven tiny glands are removed from the lower lip, via a small incision and the area is closed with dissolvable stitches.


    This type of biopsy involves a representative sample of the lesion being taken; i.e. only some of the lesion taken.

    This is done when a lesion affects multiple areas of the mouth or for slightly larger lesions, when removing the entire lesion may be inappropriate at this stage.

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    Nicholas Lee: Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon, Sheffield UK