Discharge Instructions for Muscle Biopsy

You had a procedure called a muscle biopsy. A small piece of tissue was removed from one of your muscles. This was done through an incision made in your skin. The tissue was then sent to a lab to be tested. A muscle biopsy is most often done to check for muscle disease or related problems. It can also help tell a nerve problem from a muscle problem. This sheet tells you how to care for yourself once you’re home.

General Care

  • Rest for 24 to 48 hours after the procedure.

  • Avoid using the muscle that was biopsied for 1 to 3 days.

  • Take pain medications as directed. You may need to avoid taking aspirin and other blood thinners. These can increase the risk of bleeding from the incision.

  • Ask your doctor when you can return to your usual routine. This will likely be within 1 to 2 days.

Incision Care

  • Do not be alarmed if you have a small rim of redness and swelling around your incision. This is normal and should go away within a week or so.

  • Remove the dressing over the incision after 24 hours. Change and replace the dressing if you were told to do so.

  • Do not remove the bandage or Steri-strips (strips of tape) over your incision. Replace your bandage if it falls off. Steri-strips will fall off on their own.

  • Do not shower until 24 hours after the procedure. If you still have your dressing on at this time, cover it with plastic to keep it dry while you shower. If you’ve already removed your dressing, you may wash the area around your incision with soap and water. Gently pat it dry. 

  • Do not rub your incision. And do not apply creams or lotions to it.


Schedule a follow-up visit with your doctor to discuss the results of your biopsy. If your stitches or staples need to be removed, this will likely be done in about 10 to14 days.

When to Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor if you have any of the following:

  • Increased pain, redness, swelling, drainage or pus around the incision site

  • Bleeding from the incision site (not controlled by applying 10 to15 minutes of firm pressure on the wound)

  • Fever above 100.4°F (40.0°C)

  • Shaking chills