Surgery will normally be carried out under a general anaesthetic so you’ll be asleep during the procedure. During the operation the surgeon will be using very small, precision instruments while looking at the area through a microscope.
A biopsy is taken in a number of different ways. A ‘needle’ biopsy uses a long needle to withdraw a small sample of tissue. An endoscopic biopsy uses a thin flexible telescope to look into various parts of the body - it can also withdraw a biopsy of tissue. An excisional biopsy is the removal of the whole abnormal area of tissue for analysis. A perioperative biopsy is the removal and immediate analysis of a small tissue sample - this helps the surgeon make an instant decision on how to proceed with the operation. Imaging techniques, such as X-ray, ultrasound, CT scanning or MRI scanning are often used to guide the surgeon when taking a biopsy.
Depending on the exact nature of the condition, your surgeon may need to perform procedures inside your ear, nose, mouth or throat, a combination of these areas.
You’ll probably be allowed to go home on the same day as your treatment but, if you’ve had a general anaesthetic, you shouldn’t drive for 24 hours. If you’ve had a biopsy you may experience a small amount of bleeding. There may be some pain after the anaesthetic wears off and we’ll help relieve this with painkillers.
Before you go home we’ll discuss any aftercare requirements or follow-up appointments with you. Generally you’ll be able to resume your normal activities, including work, within a few days. We’ll let you know as soon as possible the results of any test we’ve carried out or any biopsy we’ve taken.
As with any operation there are some potential risks to consider. These are rare, but could include:
- an infection, which may cause pain, bleeding or discharge
- ringing or buzzing in your ear (tinnitus)
- paralysis of part of the face
- changes in your sense of taste
- hearing loss
- We’ll discuss any potential risks with you before surgery.
Depending on the exact nature of the condition, we’ll discuss the different treatment options with you.