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Using Biopsy Forceps

This short video segment was taken during a colonoscopy to show you what the doctor sees when taking a biopsy. This 54 year old man went to his doctor for a routine checkup. He had no symptoms and no family history of colon cancer. A standard Hemoccult test of his stool (bowel movements) demonstrated a trace of hidden blood in one of three specimens. To evaluate the cause, a colonoscopy was performed and this tumor was found in his right colon. The soft nodular appearance is that of a type of polyp called a villous adenoma. Since about 30% of these contain cancer when found, a biopsy was taken during the colonoscopy exam. Here you can see the sterilized thin metal biopsy forceps that is passed through a hollow channel within the scope. Using a finger controller, the doctor can open and close the tiny jaws of the biopsy forceps as seen in this video. In this manner, he can painlessly and safely remove small bits of tissue for labratory analysis. In this case, there was no sign of cancer. The polyp was too large and flat to remove during colonscopy so surgical treatment was required. There was no cancer at surgery and the patient is now cured. He was lucky that the polyp was discovered before cancer cells developed. For more information about colon cancer prevention, click here.

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Three Rivers Endoscopy Scope Cam

Taking a Biopsy of a Villous Adenoma


Text & Images Courtesy of Three Rivers Endoscopy Center
© Dr. Robert Fusco, Three Rivers Endoscopy Center, All Rights Reserved

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