Muscle and Skin Biopsy

Muscle biopsy and sural nerve biopsy: These are sometimes necessary to arrive at a definite diagnosis in diseases affecting the muscles or the nerves in the limbs (myopathies, peripheral neuropathies), respectively. These are both brief outpatient procedures done early in the morning after an overnight fast. They are performed under local anethesia and IV sedation in an outpatient surgery facility. The patient can walk and use the limb but is advised to "take it easy" and rest for two days after either of these procedures. The patient will need someone to drive him/her to and from the procedure.

Skin biopsy: This procedure is occasionally necessary to diagnose certain diseses producing numbnes, tingling or pain in the hands and feet (small fiber neuropathies). A small "button" of skin is removed from the calf and from the thigh under local anesthesia. This is a very simple procedure done in our office. It does not require fasting or special preparation and the patient can drive home immediately afterward.