Gynecology Services -
A vulvar biopsy is a medical procedure where a small piece of tissue is removed from the vulva, which is the outer part of the female genitalia.. The procedure is usually performed if abnormalities are detected during a routine pelvic examination or if a patient reports symptoms such as itching, burning, or unusual growths in the vulvar area.
During a vulvar biopsy, the patient is typically placed in a position similar to that of a routine pelvic exam, with feet in stirrups. The specific area of concern on the vulva is cleaned and a local anesthetic is applied to minimize discomfort. Using a small, sharp instrument (punch biopsy), the medical provider will then remove a small piece of tissue from the vulva. The sample size and depth can vary, depending on the nature of the concern. Once the biopsy is done, the site is usually bandaged and aftercare instructions are provided. The entire procedure typically takes less than 15 minutes.
After a vulvar biopsy, it is normal to experience mild discomfort in the biopsied area. There may also be slight bleeding or discharge, so wearing a sanitary pad can help manage this. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to manage pain, but it’s advisable to avoid aspirin as it can increase bleeding. It’s important to keep the area clean and dry to avoid infection, but avoid using perfumed soaps or lotions. Abstain from sexual intercourse and strenuous activities until the biopsy site has completely healed.
The tissue sample taken during the biopsy is sent to a lab where it is examined under a microscope by a pathologist. Results are typically available within one to two weeks. You will be notified of these results and any suggested next steps if required. It’s important to remember that a vulvar biopsy is a diagnostic test, and further treatment will depend on the diagnosis. If you have any questions or concerns following the procedure, don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider.