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Abdominal wall fat pad biopsy

Definition

An abdominal wall fat pad biopsy is the removal of a small part of the abdominal wall fat pad for laboratory study of the tissue.

Alternative Names

Amyloidosis - abdominal wall fat pad biopsy; Abdominal wall biopsy; Biopsy - abdominal wall fat pad

How the Test is Performed

Needle aspiration is the most common method of taking an abdominal wall fat pad biopsy.

The health care provider cleans the skin on your belly area. Numbing medicine may be applied on the area. A needle is placed through the skin and into the fat pad under the skin. A small piece of the fat pad is removed with the needle. It is sent to a laboratory for analysis.

How to Prepare for the Test

No special preparation is usually necessary. However, follow any specific instructions your provider gives you.

How the Test will Feel

You may have some mild discomfort or feel pressure when the needle is inserted. Afterward, the area may feel tender or be bruised for several days.

Why the Test is Performed

The procedure is done most often to test for amyloidosis. Diagnosing the disease in this way may avoid the need for a biopsy of an organ, which is a more difficult procedure.

Normal Results

The fat pad tissues are normal.

What Abnormal Results Mean

In the case of amyloidosis, abnormal results mean there is amyloid. This is a protein that collects in tissues and impairs organ and tissue function.

Risks

There is a slight risk of infection, bruising, or slight bleeding.

References

Chernecky CC, Berger BJ. Biopsy, site-specific - specimen. In: Chernecky CC, Berger BJ, eds. Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures. 6th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:199-202.

Gertz MA. Amyloidosis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 188.

Review Date:1/14/2017
Reviewed By:Robert Hurd, MD, Professor of Endocrinology and Health Care Ethics, Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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Outcome Data

No data available for this condition/procedure.

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