The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Examination under anaesthesia biopsies

What is an EUA and what is a biopsy?

An EUA is short for an Examination under Anaesthesia.  It can be used to describe a medical examination of any body part that is required to obtain a diagnosis for your child.  This can include looking, feeling and measuring an area of interest.  To fully perform an EUA sometimes a biopsy is required.  This involves taking a piece or several pieces of tissue form the area of interest for specialist doctors to look at under a microscope to help your childs’ doctor try and find a diagnosis.

What happens in the operation?

Whilst your child is asleep the doctor will perform a thorough examination of the body part and may evaluate the function (e.g. the ability for muscle to contract).  If biopsies are taken this usually involves a special instrument or just a scalpel to take a section of tissue that will not result in a noticeable difference in your childs’ function but will give enough tissue for the microscope doctors to work with to provide an answer.

What are the risks?

This is a common operation and the risks are low. All operations have a risk of bleeding and infection, particularly if biopsies are taken. There are no special risk with this operation. All operations can cause bruising, swelling and discomfort.   Biopsies can cause damage to structures.  An example is when a biopsy is taken from the bowel, rarely a hole can be made through the entire bowel, which would need further treatment and potential surgery.

What about the anaesthetic?

Local anaesthetic will also be given either directly into the wound or topically to make your child more comfortable after surgery.

How do I look after my child after?

You can pick them up, cuddle them and treat them normally from immediately post operatively. They shouldn’t need more than paracetamol and/or ibuprofen to control their pain (if your child doesn’t have any special reason why they can’t take these medicines). The biopsy site, if taken and visible, will have dissolvable stitches/ skin glue or a mixture of both and so nothing needs taking out.  Try to keep the wound clean and dry for 2 days after which your child can bathe normally.

If your child has had biopsies taken from the rectum/bowel and develops the following symptoms you should seek emergency medical evaluation in your local A&E:

1)      Severe tummy pain or swollen tummy

2)      Becomes generally unwell e.g. a temperature

3)      Refuses to eat or drink

4)      Is unusually sleepy or refuses to wake up

5)      Significant bleeding from the bottom with or without stool.

It is usual to see patients who have had biopsies taken or in those children where further management is required to be seen in outpatients’ clinic.  If however you do experience problems you can either visit your local GP or get in contact with us through the main hospital switchboard on 0113 243 2799 and ask to be put through to the ward you were looked after on or the secretary of the surgeon who did your operation. Do bear in mind there is a limit to what staff will be able to advise on without seeing your child.