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

The oral mucosal punch biopsy. A report of 140 cases.

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Dermatology Associates, Cincinnati, Ohio.



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.


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.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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