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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. The procedure is done most often to test for amyloidosis.

Alternative Names

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.

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

This test may be performed when amyloidosis is suspected.

Normal Values

The fat pad tissues are normal.

What abnormal results mean

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

What the risks are

The risks are minimal. There is a slight risk of infection. There is also a minor risk of bruising or slight bleeding.

References

Gertz MA. Amyloidosis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 194.

 

Review Date: 2/2/2013
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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