Getting a Punch Biopsy IRL
The word punch can go two different ways; it could mean a fun and fruity drink, or it could mean pain is coming your way! Dear friends, I wish I was here to talk about the tropical sweet nectar. Alas, I want to share my experience with something that many of us with psoriasis have experienced: a punch biopsy.
Mighty morphing plaque
I experienced the joy of the punch when I was a high schooler. It started with a giant area on my upper thigh that was constantly dry. Now, you have to understand that my psoriasis has always had a sense of humor. Each time the doctor examined this area of my body, he suggested a punch biopsy, but by the time the appointment for the procedure came around, the plaque would disappear. Silly bugger.
To this day I am still a little fuzzy on why they needed to do the punch biopsy, because I had already been diagnosed with psoriasis years earlier. My best guess is that it looked different than the rest of my lesions, so they wanted to make sure it wasn’t fungus or other problem. Also, this was after I moved to a small farm town from the city, and doctors sometimes just do things differently in rural areas.
Hit me with your best shot
Well, that sneaky patch finally decided to be compliant and stuck around for the procedure. I want to share my experience in case anyone reading this is also faced with the decision to get one of these themselves.
That being said, if you are squeamish, I won’t be offended if you go back to flipping through your news feed. I won’t be grotesque, but I do like to speak candidly.
If you are like me and hate needles, you won’t like this part; a local anesthetic is required. Since I was just a lad and my hamstrings weren’t as ripped as they are now (poetic license may apply), this wasn’t too painful. The fear was worse than the actual pain. The next parts went by relatively quickly. I still wish I didn’t have to be conscious for the whole thing, but at least it didn’t drag on. The doctor took a little round shaped razor and twisted it down into my skin in a circular motion and then pulled out a little cylinder shaped sample back out.
In my experience, it started to bleed pretty fast, so they put a single stitch in. Since I was still numbed up, it didn’t bother me at all. It’s just a super bizarre experience to see something happening to you that your brain knows should hurt, but not being able to feel anything aside from a little pressure. I would say that the whole thing from start to finish was only about 20-30 minutes. After that I was sent on my merry way with a half numb leg and a “we will call you with results.” This was back before the days of MyChart, so it took a little longer to get results than it would today.
Everything came back normal and it was decided that it was just my psoriasis spreading normally (If you can call a disease normal—which psoriasis definitely is not.) I still have a small scar from my punch biopsy, but it really isn’t that noticeable unless I point it out. Overall I would say it was a positive experience. It gave me peace of mind to know I didn’t have another issue involving my skin. If you are considering this or any other biopsy for your psoriasis, I would encourage you to not be afraid. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have and rest in knowing that it is a fairly simple procedure.