The oral mucosal punch biopsy. A report of 140 cases

Arch Dermatol. 1992 Jun;128(6):815-7.


Background: Dermatologists are often confronted with neoplasms and diseases of the oral cavity. Although many may be reluctant to perform oral surgical procedures, a biopsy is often needed to establish a definitive diagnosis. This article describes a simple and safe method of obtaining an oral biopsy specimen.

Observations: A punch was used in performing 140 biopsies from various locations of the oral cavity. Bleeding was controlled by pressure in the majority of cases, with only a few requiring electrodesiccation. Biopsy sites, all of which were left to heal by secondary intention, showed almost complete reepithelialization at a 2-week postoperative check. Complications from surgery were almost nonexistent and minor in degree.

Conclusions: The punch biopsy of the oral cavity is a safe and useful technique that can be easily employed by dermatologists. Biopsies should be kept superficial, and neurovascular structures must be avoided to prevent complications.

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy / methods*
  • Hemostatic Techniques
  • Humans
  • Lip Diseases / pathology
  • Mouth Diseases / pathology
  • Mouth Mucosa / pathology*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / pathology
  • Pain, Postoperative / etiology
  • Tongue Diseases / pathology
  • Wound Healing