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Find out what having a biopsy is, how you have it and what happens after it.

Your doctor might want to do a biopsy of the abnormal area on your penis. This is usually not painful as you have a local or general anaesthetic. If you have a general anaesthetic, you might need to stay in hospital overnight. 

Your biopsy might be:

  • an incisional biopsy, where the doctor uses a surgical knife (scalpel) to remove a small piece of the abnormal area
  • an excisional biopsy, where your doctor removes the whole of the abnormal area

Your doctor will send the sample to a laboratory, where a specialist doctor called a pathologist looks at it under a microscope to see if the sample contains cancer cells.

After the biopsy, you have stitches in the area where the skin has been cut. The stitches stay in for about a week. Depending on the type of stitch, you might have to go back to the hospital to have them taken out, or they will dissolve on their own.

Last reviewed: 
01 Apr 2016
  • Penile Cancer Guidelines
    OW Hakenberg and others
    European Association of Urology, 2015

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