What to Know about Breast Biopsies

We perform both stereotactic and ultrasound-guided core breast biopsies at our comprehensive breast centers. These procedures are considered minimally invasive breast biopsies and obtain core tissue samples for our Pathology Department to analyze.

To prepare for a breast biopsy, it is important to withhold any medicines that contribute to thinning of the blood, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, vitamin E, and many prescription NSAIDs. As we only use local anesthesia, you may take any of your other regular medicines as well as eat a regular meal prior to coming to our center. It is often helpful to take acetaminophen (Tylenol) before your biopsy, unless contraindicated by your physician.

For a stereotactic breast biopsy, you will be face-down on a special table with your breast protruding through a hole in the table, and compressed much as if you were having a mammogram. Digital X-ray images will guide the radiologist in placement of the biopsy needle to obtain core tissue specimens from the abnormal area in the breast. The procedure itself is usually very short, only lasting 15-20 minutes. A titanium biopsy marker is routinely placed at the biopsy site when the biopsy is over.

For an ultrasound-guided breast biopsy, you lie on your back or your side. The handheld transducer is used to guide the biopsy needle into the mass to obtain core tissue specimens. This procedure is also usually very short, only lasting 15-20 minutes. A titanium biopsy marker is routinely placed at the biopsy site at the end of the procedure.

After both procedures, it is common to experience mild to moderate soreness and sometimes bruising of the breast tissue. You will be given detailed written instructions when you leave, as well as a small cold gel pack to place inside your bra after the procedure. Please contact us for any problems or concerns after your biopsy. You should receive results from us or from your doctor within 48-72 hours after your biopsy. As with any medical procedure, if you experience excessive bleeding or develop fever, you should proceed to the nearest Emergency Department.

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