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Temporal Artery Biopsy

The artery present on either side of the head at the temples, between the eyes and the ears, is called the temporal artery. Inflammation of the lining of the temporal artery caused by conditions such as temporal arteritis can be diagnosed by temporal artery biopsy. In this procedure, a small tissue sample is removed from the artery and examined microscopically.

The biopsy procedure is performed under local anaesthesia and takes about 30 minutes. Your doctor makes a 5-10cm-long incision on your skin to expose the artery. Two clamps are placed on the artery at least 2.5cm apart, a small piece of the artery is removed and sent to the laboratory for microscopic examination. The wound is then closed with stitches.

Like all invasive procedures, temporal artery biopsy may be associated with complications such as bleeding, haematoma, infection, nerve damage, scarring on the scalp and reduced hair growth around the surgical area.

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