How Large Are Biopsies versus Endoscopic Mucosal Resections?

This image, taken from my cell phone, shows glass microscope slides from two separate patients.  You can see the tissue (it has been stained) as the red and purple things on the glass slides.  On the left are small biopsies that Dr. Dunbar took from a patient in surveillance.  There are lots of spots because the tissue was cut into lots of tiny slices to put under the microscope to learn if the patient has dysplasia.  You can see by comparing the small biopsies on the left to the pencil that such biopsies are quite tiny (and therefor it is perfectly safe for you to have lots of biopsies).  In fact, the small spots actually consist of three separate biopsies so each is only about a millimeter! The endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) on the right is much larger, but still a pretty small amount of tissue.  You can see from these samples that if you have an endoscopic procedure, the tissues removed from you are small fragments compared to what is removed during major surgery.

E. Montgomery, MD

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