I had skin punch biopsies to test for small fiber neuropathy in my feet and legs. The dermatologist following my neurologist's instructions took three samples, two from the foot and one from my upper thigh. She used a punch type instrument that took a small circular core of skin. Each biopsy site was closed with one suture. The derm used an anesthetic so there was only minimal discomfort during the procedure. There were no long term effects of this biopsy, not even scars.
The samples were sent to one of only three places in the country that does this test. Basically, they count the number of nerve ending in each sample. My neuropathy has not reached my thigh yet, so they compared that sample to the ones form the lower leg/foot. I had almost no viavle nerves remaining in the foot.
I was tested for every possible cause of neuropathy and it was narrowed down to one of three possible causes. I was offered a sural biopsy but declined. Of the three possible causes, I have two of the diseases so didn't feel the need for the sural biopsy. My neurologist didn't push for it either. momofltbrat is correct that a sural biopsy in the calf leaves one with permanent numbness.
Moderator Crohn's Disease Forum
CD, Ankylosing Spondylitis, lupus, small fiber peripheral neuropathy, avascular necrosis, peripheral artery disease, degenerative disc disease, and a host of other medical problems.