Mandibular Bone Biopsy

What is Mandibular Bone Biopsy

Mandibular bone biopsy is a procedure to remove a small piece of your lower jawbone (mandible) so the bone cells can be examined under a microscope.

You may need this procedure if you have an abnormal growth (lesion) in your mandible. Growths in the mandible can be fluid-filled sacs (cysts) or solid masses (tumors). A bone biopsy helps your health care provider make a diagnosis and plan the right treatment for you.

Tell a health care provider about:

  • Any allergies you have.
  • All medicines you are taking, including vitamins, herbs, eye drops, creams, and over-the-counter medicines.
  • Any problems you or family members have had with anesthetic medicines.
  • Any blood disorders you have.
  • Any surgeries you have had.
  • Any medical conditions you have.
  • Whether you are pregnant or may be pregnant.

What are the risks?

Generally, this is a safe procedure. However, problems may occur, including:

  • Damage to the mandible.
  • Damage to the nerves, blood vessels, or other structures around the mandible.
  • Bleeding.
  • Infection.
  • Allergic reactions to medicines or dyes.

What happens before the procedure?

  • Follow instructions from your health care provider about eating and drinking restrictions.
  • Ask your health care provider about:
    • Changing or stopping your regular medicines. This is especially important if you are taking diabetes medicines or blood thinners.
    • Taking medicines such as aspirin and ibuprofen. These medicines can thin your blood. Do not take these medicines before your procedure if your health care provider instructs you not to.
  • Plan to have a responsible adult care for you for at least 24 hours after you leave the hospital or clinic. This is important.

What happens during the procedure?

  • An imaging test may be done to confirm the location of the growth and to guide the biopsy.
  • To reduce your risk of infection, your health care team will wash or sanitize their hands.
  • An IV may be inserted into one of your veins.
  • You will be given one or both of the following:
    • A medicine to help you relax (sedative).
    • A medicine to numb the area (local anesthetic).
  • A device may be placed in your mouth to keep it open and to hold your tongue out of the way.
  • A small incision will be made inside your mouth through the lining over your mandible (mucosa).
  • A hollow needle will be inserted through the incision and into the bone above the lesion.
  • Another needle may be inserted through the hollow needle to remove a biopsy sample.
  • The needles will be removed.
  • A gauze pad will be held over the incision to control bleeding.

The procedure may vary among health care providers and hospitals.

What happens after the procedure?

  • You may have to keep a gauze pad in your mouth until bleeding stops.
  • Your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and blood oxygen level will be monitored until the medicines you were given have worn off.
  • Do not drive for 24 hours if you were given a sedative.

Summary

  • A mandibular bone biopsy is a procedure to remove a small piece of your jawbone (mandible) so the bone cells can be examined under a microscope.
  • A bone biopsy helps your health care provider make a diagnosis and plan the right treatment for you.
  • Before your procedure, make plans to have a responsible adult care for you for at least 24 hours after you leave the hospital or clinic. This is important.
  • After the procedure, you may have to keep a gauze pad in your mouth until bleeding stops.

Mandibular Bone Biopsy, Care After

This sheet gives you information about how to care for yourself after your procedure. Your health care provider may also give you more specific instructions. If you have problems or questions, contact your health care provider.

What can I expect after the procedure?

After the procedure, it is common to have:

  • Numbness in your jaw. This will go away when the numbing medicine wears off.
  • Soreness.
  • Swelling.
  • Blood-tinged mucus when you cough (sputum).

Follow these instructions at home:

Incision care

  • Follow instructions from your health care provider about how to take care of your incision. Make sure you:
    • Change the gauze packing in your mouth as told by your health care provider.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water before you change the gauze. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer.
  • Rinse your mouth with a cool salt-water mixture 3–4 times per day or as needed. To make a salt-water mixture, completely dissolve ½–1 tsp of salt in 1 cup of cool water.
  • Check your biopsy site every day for signs of infection. Check for:
    • More redness, swelling, or pain.
    • More fluid or blood.
    • Pus or a bad smell.

Managing pain, stiffness, and swelling

  • Keep your head above the level of your heart while you are lying down.
  • If directed, apply ice to your jaw area.
    • Put ice in a plastic bag.
    • Place a towel between your skin and the bag.
    • Leave the ice on for 20 minutes, 2–3 times per day.

Driving

  • Do not drive or use heavy machinery while taking prescription pain medicine.
  • Do not drive for 24 hours if you were given a medicine to help you relax (sedative).

Eating and drinking

  • Follow instructions from your health care provider about other eating or drinking restrictions. Do not eat hot foods or drink hot liquids until your health care provider says you can return to your normal diet.
  • Do not eat foods that you have to chew until your mouth is no longer numb.
  • Avoid foods that are hard, dry, sticky, chunky, lumpy, or stringy. Also avoid foods with nuts, seeds, raisins, skins, or pulp.
  • Avoid liquids that have seeds, pulp, or chunks.

General instructions

  • Return to your normal activities as told by your health care provider. Ask your health care provider what activities are safe for you.
  • Do not use any tobacco products, including cigarettes, chewing tobacco, or e-cigarettes. Tobacco can delay healing. If you need help quitting, ask your health care provider.
  • Take over-the-counter and prescription medicines only as told by your health care provider.
  • Keep all follow-up visits as told by your health care provider. This is important.

Contact a health care provider if:

  • You have chills or a fever.
  • You have signs of infection in the area of your biopsy. Signs of infection include:
    • More redness, swelling, or pain.
    • Pus or a bad smell.
  • Your biopsy site is bleeding.
  • You have pain that is not controlled by your pain medicine.

Get help right away if:

  • You have severe pain or swelling in your jaw area or inside your mouth.
  • You have fresh bleeding that does not stop after you apply pressure with a gauze pad.

Summary

  • After the procedure, you may have numbness in your jaw. This will go away when the numbing medicine wears off.
  • Follow instructions from your health care provider about how to take care of your incision.
  • Check your biopsy site every day for signs of infection.
  • Icing your jaw and keeping your head above the level of your heart when you are lying down will help to manage the pain and swelling.
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