Muscle Biopsy

A muscle biopsy is the removal of a small piece of muscle tissue for examination.

Muscle Biopsy: What to Expect

A muscle biopsy is usually performed while you are awake. Your health care provider will apply a numbing medicine (local anesthesia) to the biopsy area. During the biopsy there is usually little to no discomfort. The anesthetic may burn or sting when injected. After the anesthetic wears off, the area may be sore for about a week.

There are 2 types of muscle biopsy:

  • A needle biopsy involves inserting a needle into the muscle. When the needle is removed, a small piece of tissue remains in the needle. More than one needle stick may be needed to get a large enough sample.
  • An open biopsy involves making a small cut in the skin and into the muscle. The muscle tissue is then removed.

After either type of biopsy, the tissue is sent to a laboratory for examination. Your provider will discuss the results of the biopsy with you as soon as they are available.

Muscle Biopsy for Malignant Hyperthermia

If you are receiving a muscle biopsy to determine whether you have malignant hyperthermia, special precautions will be taken to keep you safe.

You will be treated as if you were susceptible to malignant hyperthermia and triggering agents will be avoided. Special anesthetics will be used to ensure you are not at risk of a malignant hyperthermia crisis.