James P. McMenamin, DMD -  - Maxillofacial Surgeon

James P. McMenamin, DMD

Maxillofacial Surgeon & Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon located in Warren, NJ

Nearly 53,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral or oropharyngeal cancer every year. Having a biopsy to check for cancerous growths in your oral tissues is an essential step in fighting the disease. James McMenamin, DMD, is a respected oral surgeon who provides gentle and effective biopsies at his state-of-the-art clinic in Warren, New Jersey. To learn more, request a visit today by calling the office or using the online request tool.

Biopsy Q & A

What is a biopsy?

A biopsy is a procedure where Dr. McMenamin removes a small sample of tissue from your mouth to inspect it on a cellular level. Your biopsy can involve removing suspicious tissue from several places in your mouth, including your:

  • Lips
  • Tongue
  • Inner cheeks
  • Gums

Biopsies are simple outpatient procedures that take only a matter of minutes and involve little to no recovery or downtime.

There are two different types of biopsies:

Incisional biopsy

Dr. McMenamin removes a small portion of tissue from the area in question to be examined.

Excisional biopsy

Dr. McMenamin removes the entirety of the abnormal tissue in your mouth. This is usually done only with small lumps or swellings.

What happens when I get a biopsy?

Dr. McMenamin uses a local anesthetic to numb the area that he’s going to biopsy. Once your tissue is numb, he uses a small scalpel or a needle to remove the tissue sample. Because you’re anesthetized during the procedure, you won’t feel any pain from this.

Depending on the size of your biopsy, Dr. McMenamin might need to apply stitches afterward. This isn’t always necessary, however. If you do need stitches, he typically uses dissolvable stitches that disappear in a matter of weeks.

The whole procedure, from the anesthetization to the stitching, usually takes about 15 minutes.

What happens after my biopsy?

You likely won’t experience much pain once the anesthetic wears off, but if you are experiencing discomfort, you should be able to ease it with over-the-counter painkillers. Because the tissues in your mouth heal quickly, there probably won’t be any bleeding once you leave the office. You should be able to get back to your daily activities immediately after the procedure.

Dr. McMenamin sends your tissue sample to a lab where a pathologist (an expert in tissue diagnosis) examines the sample under a microscope. The pathologist notes any abnormalities in your sample and reports them to Dr. McMenamin, who passes along the information to you.

Get started with your quick and easy biopsy by scheduling an appointment with Dr. McMenamin today. You can request your visit by calling the office or using the convenient online request appointment tool.