How much will my skin biopsy hurt?

I have 3 shave biopsies scheduled and I’m feeling nervous.


Community Answers
  • Nina M moderator
    1 year ago

    Thanks for the detailed responses, @apulliam2000 and @BHPen99! And thanks @susantest for your update! We have a couple of responses from Facebook I wanted to share:

    “Relatively mild pain, but took long time to heal. It was on lower shin, doctor went deep.”

    “My last spot also took a long time to heal as it was below shin. However pain was almost non-existent. I have had many spots frozen, and some removed with surgery and pain is not an issue. The important part of recovery is following doctors post-surgery directions. Even the suture removal was painless! Don’t be afraid be happy to get rid of those cancerous spots.”

  • BHPen99
    1 year ago

    I had the punch biopsy and walked out with 2 stitches and the doctor saying I will have a forever hole in my arm. I was shocked, didn’t know what to expect because I thought a biopsy was a needle, that all I had ever known. It didn’t hurt, my arm was numbed really well, but afterwards it was sore and I was so glad to get my stitches out because they itched. The procedure took less than 15 minutes. Stitches were out after two weeks and my arm was tender. I received a call at work on Thursday, it is Melanoma, come back in to have it removed. I kept saying it was removed, I just got my stitches out. She said you don’t understand, you have cancer and we have to go deeper and wider, just more of the same and no, you don’t need anyone with you. Well, I came out of that 1.5 hour surgery with a 4 inch incision and a very tiny arm, about the size of my wrist and I’m a plus size woman. I was trying not to pass out because he hit a spot that wasn’t numb and I came off that table. Then I laid there and softly cried. I had to gather myself to drive the one mile home, but no, I had to go get my Vicodin. I was on that for 3 days which helped a lot. The second surgery was a lot more than my first biopsy and it took a long time for me to recover. It’s been 5 months now and I still am missing some arm strength. Since then I have had 20 spots on my upper body frozen off, 2 were precancerous according to my doctor. I return in 3 months for another full body check. Good luck with your biopsy. I just knew mine was nothing, that my GP was over reacting. It was a tiny mole I remember at age 3. It didn’t bleed, itch, or bother me in any way. My arm had been sore if pressed on, like I had a vaccine or something. That pain is no longer there. My Derm had measured it and told me it was ok. My GP saw it during a blood pressure check and went off saying go back, get a biopsy, just humor me. I was able to thank him for saving my life because I only saw my Derm just when I was having issues. Sometimes, I’d go years in between but not anymore. He said I will see him for the rest of my life. I’m a senior.

  • susanm author
    1 year ago

    Thank you for sharing with me BHPen99 – my biopsies went okay. Just shaved off, no stitches. I am a bit surprised by the little divots that now exist on my wrist and thigh but I am hopeful they’ll heal. Now I just wait for my results. I’m thinking of you and I hope you will send some positive thoughts my way as well. =)

    Susan

  • April Pulliam moderator
    1 year ago

    I completely understand your apprehension. I’ve been there many times. Shave and punch biopsies aren’t, in and of themselves, painful. The most discomfort I have ever had comes from the shot of anesthetic. That’s one big pinch, then you won’t feel much more than pressure. Depending on your doctor’s technique and the size of the spot taken, you might have a small stitch. Some doctors leave the spot open to heal. I have had both done. You’ll receive some after-care instructions and might have a dull ache in that area for a day or so. You have tons of support here. Don’t hesitate to ask anything at all. Keep us posted. Sending you lots of positive vibes!

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