Discharge Instructions for Nerve/Muscle Biopsy

You had a nerve/muscle biopsy, a procedure used to identify a disease or to check the condition of your nerves, muscle, or both. The following instructions will help you care for your incision after the procedure.

Home care

Do's and don'ts include: 

  • Remove the gauze dressing covering your incision after 24 hours, unless told otherwise.

  • Leave the incision covered with adhesive strips until you return to have your stitches removed. Some surgeons use absorbable stitches or skin glue.

  • Replace any adhesive strips that fall off.

  • Keep the incision dry. Take a sponge bath to avoid getting your incision wet, unless your healthcare provider tells you otherwise.

  • Ask your provider when can you take a shower or bathe.

  • Ask your provider about the best way to keep your incision dry when bathing or showering.

  • Don’t be alarmed if you have a small rim of redness and swelling around the incision. This usually disappears within a few days.

  • Don’t take aspirin. If you have pain, take acetaminophen or another non-aspirin pain reliever every 4 to 6 hours as needed.


  • Make a follow-up appointment.

  • Make an appointment for 10 to 14 days after the biopsy, especially if you need to have your stitches removed.

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following:

  • Increased redness around the biopsy site

  • Excessive swelling, discomfort, or pain

  • Drainage or pus from the biopsy site

  • Bleeding from the incision (not controlled by 10 to 15 minutes of firm pressure on the wound)

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38.0°C) or higher, or chills