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A biopsy is a diagnostic procedure to evaluate unusual growths or suspicious tissue in the body. The procedure involves removal of a piece of tissue or cells from the area of concern which are sent to a laboratory for microscopic examination. Spinal biopsy is performed to diagnose spinal tumors, an abnormal growth of uncontrolled tissues or cells in and around the spinal cord. The procedure is done under local anesthesia with the patient lying on his or her abdomen. A sample of tissue is removed by inserting a needle using imaging techniques through the skin and directly into the spinal cord. Intravenous (IV) pain and sedative medication also may be given.