Biopsy Atlas of the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
offers a complete description of this procedure with drawings.
Georgia P., Massachusetts, USA: Endometrial biopsy, a diagnostic
procedure for endometrial cancer, is a procedure which removes tissue
from the lining of the uterus for analysis. Abnormal bleeding after
menopause or extremely heavy bleeding are symptoms suggesting the need
for this procedure.
This is a painful procedure for many, because an instrument must be
introduced into the uterus itself. Sometimes a suction catheter is used
if the doctor cannot access the uterine tissue easily through the cervix.
However, it is quick, and done during an office visit. Doctors usually
recommend taking several pain relievers (I prefer Aleve®) to help
with the discomfort, and another good idea is to take a sanitary pad,
since there can be bleeding after the biopsy.
Endometrial tissue from the biopsy is sent to a pathologist for examination
of the cells under a microscope.
Sue D., Pennsylvania, USA: When I had my abnormal bleeding checked,
my gynecologist tried, but was not able to finish, an endometrial biopsy.
Because my cervix had never been stretched by childbirth, she could
not push the biopsy instrument through it without causing me severe
discomfort. I started cramping right away and she stopped as soon as
she realized that it was not going to be successful. Instead she ordered
a vaginal ultrasound to see how thick the walls of the endometrium and
uterine walls were and then a D & C (dilation and curettage) to
finally get the tissue samples for biopsy.