Getting a Diagnostic Skin Biopsy

FriedrichBiopsyDrawingBlueText

Important: For all services, you must have an MGH medical record number. Call (866)-211-6588 to register and provide insurance information. 

 

If you would like to have skin biopsy testing for small-fiber neuropathy, your options are:

1. Have the biopsy at Massachusetts General Hospital:

Schedule through the Neurology Clinic by calling 617-643-8389.
 
Before calling to schedule, have your doctor fill out and fax this form to your chosen provider.
 
Or, for a lower leg or foot location, you may also schedule with Dr. Wortzman in the Podiatry section by calling 617-726-3487.
 
See more information at MGH Team.
 

2. Have your biopsy taken elsewhere in Massachusetts and have your doctor send it to MGH for analysis:

If you want to send skin biopsies performed by an outside physician in Massachusetts to MGH Pathology for analysis, please follow the directions in this packet: Outside Biopsy Packet
 
To request a kit for performing a nerve biopsy, email nerveunit@mgh.harvard.edu.
 

3. Request a second opinion of a biopsy slide analyzed outside of Massachusetts:

Have your hospital's pathologist ship your biopsy or slides to MGH Pathology for a second opinion.
 

What to expect after a skin biopsy

The small wound may ooze on the day of the biopsy. To minimize oozing, keep the tight bandage on for a few hours, avoid vigorous exercise for several hours, and keep your leg up when you are sitting.
 
Keep the area covered with a Band-Aid for several weeks until the scab drops off. Change the Band-Aid daily after bathing. Keep the area away from dirt; swimming is okay.
 
You may experience redness and swelling for a few days at the site. Once the scab falls off after a few weeks, you may see a pink scar that will fade over the following months.
 
Call your doctor if redness or swelling becomes worse or doesn’t go away, or if you see pus coming from the biopsy area.
 

Questions? Contact the MGH Nerve Unit:

(617) 726-9391