Biopsy needles are of utmost importance in the diagnosis of certain diseases such as cancer and the likes. Doctors get samples of the tissues that need to be studied in order to get a better picture of what is really the general status of the organ or other parts of the body that needs evaluation. Before a doctor will perform surgery, he will need to acquire a sample specimen first and have it sent to the histopathology section of the hospital laboratory where it is processed and read by a pathologist to determine if the object of inspection has cancer or free from it.
In some cases, the surgeon may require a small chunk of the organ or part to be examined, while in other cases all that is needed are really small amounts of flesh or fluid as a sample. In this case, they are used to extract the sample directly from the organ or part to be tested.
The biopsy needle types largely depend on its purpose and also the organ involved in the biopsy. For example, percutaneous liver biopsies use aspiration or asuction type needles, for their oblique tip that has slightly convex tip as it extends outward. Another type of needles used are the cutting type needles also know as the automatic biopsy needles. They are spring loaded and once triggered, it slices in a rapid-firing side-notch manner cutting through parenchyma cells of the liver.
For lung biopsies, coaxial needles are used. They are characterized by its increased rigidity and torque, which can overcome any resistance from the surrounding soft tissues and can collect multiple samples from a single procedure. Additionally, single shaft needles can also be used, since they are more flexible and maneuverable than the previous needle. They also puncture through soft tissues easily provided that no heavy tissue resistance is present. Nonetheless, a cutting needle, due to the barbed edges that enable the needle to cut large tissue samples from the pulmonary nodule, also works well. A 14 to 21 gauge needle can be used and can also be incorporated in a biopsy gun.
There are also soft tissue needles and bone marrow needles. The soft tissue needle are specifically made to capture good quality soft tissue samples while minimizing trauma to the patient. While bone marrow needles are very rigid, which allow them to drill through bones to acquire bone marrow samples.
Performing biopsies takes a lot of practice and training in order to hit the right spot that the doctor is aiming. To assist the physicians in hitting the right spot the first time, they normally use needle guides These needle guides are incorporated into the needles itself. They are usually 0.55-0.9mm wide and are usually placed on the tip of the needle. This will enable the clinician to see the direction of the biopsy needles inside the body. Compared to puncturing the site blind and without any idea what you might hit, these needle guides make it easier for the clinician to be accurate and eliminate critical errors in operation.