Temporal Artery Biopsy

Temporal, or giant cell, arteritis is an inflammatory condition of medium and large-sized arteries of the head and face. It can cause a multitude of symptoms and mimic other conditions. Biopsy of the temporal artery can help establish diagnosis of temporal arteritis or giant cell arteritis.

Biopsy of the temporal artery may involve shaving a small amount hair on the scalp above the ear and making a small incision. Once the artery is isolated and biopsied, the tissue is sent to a specialized lab for testing. With meticulous wound closure, a virtually invisible scar is left. The American College of Rheumatology recommends biopsy of the temporal artery if a patient is 50 years or older and presents with new onset headache or localized head pain, tenderness of the temporal artery, and blood tests indicate inflammation. Patients may experience vision loss with this condition and should also undergo a complete ophthalmic exam by their optometrist.

As our patient, you or your loved one will receive evaluation and treatment by one of our elite oculoplastic surgeons, each with advanced credentials in eye and facial surgery. Most biopsy procedures may be performed under local anesthesia at TOC’s outpatient surgical center, the Center for Aesthetic and Reconstructive Eyelid and Oculoplastic Surgery (CAREOS). Outpatient (ambulatory) surgery helps to reduce hospital costs, personal expense, and length of stay for patients needing surgery. CAREOS is one of the only ambulatory surgical centers in Central Texas dedicated solely to oculoplastic and laser aesthetic surgery. This means we are highly efficient in providing the specific care you need. For those times when surgery is best performed at a hospital, TOC physicians have surgical privileges at all Austin-area hospitals.

We understand that any patient may feel anxious or apprehensive about treatment. Our goal is to help you or your loved one feel at ease. We engage each patient with sensitivity and respect for his or her individual needs.

If you would like more information about giant cell arteritis, please don’t hesitate to request complimentary information from TOC by email at info@tocaustin.com. You may also schedule a private consultation with a TOC physician.

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