Vulvar biopsy

What is a vulvar biopsy?

It is a procedure done in the clinic. Your provider removes a small piece of (vulvar) skin. It is sent to the pathologist who will look for abnormal cells. This will help you and your provider decide the best treatment.

How is a vulvar biopsy done?

  1. A numbing medicine may be put on your skin before the injection.
  2. A small needle will be used to inject a numbing medicine where the vulvar biopsy will be taken. You may feel a brief burning or stinging sensation.
  3. Your provider will then remove a small piece of vulvar skin.
  4. The skin from where the biopsy is taken may be closed with 2 to 3 stitches.

How do I care for the biopsy site?

  • Keep the site clean and dry. Cover it with plain white petrolatum (Vaseline®) or zinc oxide ointment.
  • Soak in lukewarm bath water mixed with 4 to 5 tablespoons (Tbsp) of baking soda. Soak for 10 minutes 2 times a day for 5 to 7 days if possible.
  • Use your Peri Rinse bottle filled with lukewarm water mixed with 1 to 2 teaspoons (tsp) of baking soda. Use it 2 times a day for 5 to 7 days.
  • Take over-the-counter medicines as ordered by your provider or the package directions to lessen any discomfort.
  • The stitches may come out on their own before you come back to the clinic. This will not cause a problem.

What will happen during my follow-up visit?

You may have a follow-up visit in 1 to 2 weeks. At that time, your provider will:

  • Remove any stitches that are still there.
  • Talk with you about the results.
  • Talk with you about needed treatment or follow-up.
Last reviewed: 
April 2020

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