A biopsy is the removal of a small tissue sample from the body for examination. The tissue is examined by a pathologist in order to make a diagnosis.
A biopsy may be done on healthy tissue in order to match tissue-type for transplants, or on unhealthy tissue to diagnose disease. The method of tissue removal varies. Learn more about biopsies.
Surgical excision is the removal of tissue by a physician or surgeon using a scalpel or other instrument designed for cutting. Excision refers to the removal of tissue by completely cutting it out.
An exploratory laparotomy searches the abdomen for causes of unknown abdominal problems. Learn more about exploratory laparotomy.