UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN MEDICAL FOUNDATION
CLINICAL POLICY AND PROCEDURE
TITLE: Shave Biopsy
(With or Without EDC - Electros Desiccation and Curettage)
Effective Date: October, 2005 Approval: See Authorization
Supersedes Protocol: None Contact: Clinical Staff Education
Reviewed Dec 2007 May 2009 November 2011
PURPOSE: To provide guidelines for set-up and assisting with a shave biopsy.
DEFINITIONS: A shave biopsy is a surgical procedure to diagnose problems of the skin. Tissue is removed
by scraping (shaving) skin from the affected area(s).
Electro desiccation is cauterizing a biopsy site. Curettage is scraping of effected tissue with a circular currette.
The two procedures are often used together.
Indications: Elevated (exophytic) neoplasms, Skin Tag, Non-pigmented Nevus, Keratocanthoma,
Dermatofibroma, Seborrheic Keratosis, Cutaneous horn, Small localized low-risk cancers; Basal Cell and
POLICY: The clinical staff will utilize the following guidelines to properly set-up and assist with a shave
biopsy on a UWMF patient.
SUPPLIES: Provider order, Patient record, Operand/Vaseline, bandage, Mayo Stand w/cover
Lidocaine, #15 blade or double edged razor blade, Gauze, Aluminum Chloride
Sterile cotton applicators/gloves, Formalin container with patient’s label
EDC: add – Currette (provider preference) Hyfracator sheath and disposable tip, mask
1. Check provider’s order and clarify any inconsistencies.
2. Wash hands and gather equipment.
3. Introduce yourself, identify the patient and provide privacy.
4. Set up equipment on Mayo Stand then cover stand with poly back towel:
Gauze, Lidocaine, #15 blade, Gauze, Aluminum Chloride
Sterile cotton applicators, Formalin container with patient’s label
Operand/skin prep, Vaseline, and bandage
FOR EDC – add: Hyfracator sheath, disposable tip, mask and curette
5. Explain procedure to the patient.
6. Assist patient to a comfortable position on exam table and expose affected area.
7. Wash hands, put on gloves and prep lesion with prescribed skin prep.
8. Administer prescribed local anesthesia with intradermal Lidocaine.
9. Assist the provider as needed with procedure.
10. Provider will place biopsied tissue in container.
11. Label container properly for lab.
12. After biopsy cover area with thin line of Vaseline and bandage.
13. Remove gloves and wash hands.
14. When completed, assist patient from exam table make the patient comfortable.
15. Instruct patient regarding wound care. (See Dressing Site/Wound Care)
16. Document in the patient’s record:
Care given to the patient and Vital Signs (if taken)
Post care instructions given to the patient or family
Patient questions or concerns
Future appointment(s) (if needed).
WRITTEN BY: Ronnie Peterson, R.N., M.S., Clinical Staff Educator
CONTRIBUTORS: Jodie Cook, Manager Dermatology
Lisa Hilker, C.M.A., Department of Dermatology
REVIEWED: Lisa Hilker, C.M.A., Department of Dermatology
1. Pariser (1989) Modern Medicine 57:82-90
2. Snell in Pfeninger (1994) Procedures, p. 20-6
3. Zuber (2002) Am Fam Physician 65(2):2547-58
Department of Dermatology Date
Medical Director Date