Muscle biopsy may be essential for the diagnosis of muscle disease. There are two methods used to obtain the muscle biopsy; needle or open technique. Both are out-patient procedures usually performed under local anaesthetic.
Needle biopsy uses a special hollow needle inserted into the muscle through a small incision to obtain the muscle biopsy sample, in most cases from the quadriceps (thigh) muscle.
In the open technique a surgeon excises a piece of muscle through a larger incision. The open technique is used where a larger sample of muscle is needed or where we need a sample from a muscle other than the quadriceps.
As with any surgical procedure it is very important to inform us in advance if you are on warfarin or any other blood thinning medication. Low dose aspirin (75mg daily) may lead to more bleeding and bruising than usual but this is not usually a problem and I do not require patients to stop such medication before the biopsy.