Surgical Skills SS11

To assess a patient clinically, in OPD and elsewhere, in particular to:




Learning Outcome

  • Be able to perform a temporal artery biopsy.
  • Understand the indications and limitations of the biopsy and be able to interpret the result.
  • Know how to prepare the biopsy sample correctly for subsequent laboratory analysis and liaise with laboratory staff so that the specimen is properly identified, presented and transported.
  • Make appropriate and reliable arrangements for the result to be acted upon in a timely fashion.


OSATS1 Portfolio Part 2 FRCOphth 


Target Year of Achievement

Year 7

Related Learning Outcomes


  • Be aware of how urgently a biopsy is required and how soon after starting steroids the biopsy need to be done.
  • Consider the risks and benefits, and how these should be explained to the patient.
  • Have a good knowledge of which side should be biopsied, where, and how large a specimen is required.
  • Understand the technique with particular reference to landmarks of branches of the facial nerve.
  • Liaise closely with local laboratories regarding specific requirements for sample preparation, documentation and transportation, particularly in regard to specimens being transported by non-NHS personnel such as taxi drivers.
  • Ensure that you receive the result promptly, or at least ensure that someone knows you have delegated this to them.
  • Ensure you know the significance of the result, and discuss this with colleagues/trainer if necessary.


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