Brain Biopsy

What Is a Brain Biopsy?

A biopsy of a brain is a procedure done to take a sample of tissue to determine if the tumor is benign or cancerous. A biopsy can also determine the type of tumor. This procedure can be done as an open biopsy or stereotactic needle, which uses a small needle to extract the tissue. 

Who Performs a Brain Biopsy?

Your neurosurgeon will perform the brain biopsy to collect the tissue sample. 

What Happens Before the Procedure?

Before the procedure, your neurosurgeon will conduct an imaging test to show where the tumor is located. After looking at the tumor, your neurosurgeon will decide whether to perform an open biopsy, to remove the brain tumor or a stereotactic needle biopsy to get a tissue sample.

What Happens During the Procedure?

The location of the tumor will determine the type of biopsy performed. If the tumor is in a sensitive, hard to reach area, your neurosurgeon may use a stereotactic needle biopsy compared to an open biopsy. During the procedure, your neurosurgeon will drill a small hole from where they want to take the tissue sample. Once the biopsy is obtained, the sample is viewed by the pathologists to determine the diagnosis. 

Recovery After the Tumor Biopsy

While biopsies are less invasive than other procedures, it’s important to rest and be aware of potential risks. Risks that may accompany a biopsy can include swelling, seizures, blood clots and more. Contact your doctor immediately if you are experiencing any trouble after a biopsy procedure.