The surgical removal (excision) of an abnormal area of tissue, usually along with a margin of healthy tissue, for microscopic examination. For example, excisional biopsies remove the entire lump from the breast.
Surgery that completely removes a small breast lump during tissue sampling. The tissue is studied under the microscope to see if cancer cells are present. Excisional biopsy usually is performed if the physician suspects that a breast lump is benign (not cancerous). Excisional biopsy is NOT a lumpectomy.