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Breast Needle Biopsy
(Biopsy, Breast Needle; Breast Needle Aspiration; Aspiration, Breast Needle; Fine Needle Aspiration; Aspiration, Fine Needle; Stereotactic Core Needle Biopsy; Biopsy, Stereotactic Core Needle; MRI-guided Breast Biopsy; Biopsy, MRI-guided Breast; Vacuum-assisted Device Biopsy; Biopsy, Vacuum-assisted Device; Ultrasound-directed Needle Biopsy; Biopsy, Ultrasound-directed Needle)
Reasons for Procedure
- Tissue thickening
- Nipple abnormality
- Discharge from the nipple
- Abnormal ultrasound or mammogram image
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Physical exam, especially a breast exam
- Blood tests
- Mammogram and/or breast ultrasound
Talk to your doctor about your current medication. Certain medication may need to be stopped before the procedure, such as:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Blood-thinning drugs
- Shower the morning of the biopsy. You may be asked to use a special antibacterial soap.
Description of the Procedure
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How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
- Take pain medicine as directed by your doctor.
- To relieve discomfort, apply a warm compress or a heating pad to the area.
- Wear a supportive bra.
- Ask your doctor when you should change the bandages.
- Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions.
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, a lot of bleeding, or discharge from the biopsy site
- Nausea and/or vomiting that you cannot control with the medication you were given after surgery, or that last for more than two days after the procedure
- Pain that you cannot control with the medication you have been given
- Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
- Pain and/or swelling in your feet, calves, or legs
American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org/
Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation http://www.cbcf.org/
Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca/
Biopsy. The Breastcancer.org website. Available at: http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/testing/biopsy.jsp. Updated September 17, 2012. Accessed January 22, 2013.
Han BK, Schnall MD, Orel SG, Rosen M. Outcome of MRI-guided breast biopsy. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2008;191:1798.
Heywang-Köbrunner SH, Sinnatamby R, Lebeau A, et al. Interdisciplinary consensus on the uses and technique of MRI-guided vacuum-assisted breast biopsy (VAB): results of a European consensus meeting. Eur J Radiol. 2009;72:289.
Kinds of biopsies. Ductal Carcinoma In Situ, Cancer Prevention Institute of California website. Available at: http://dcis.info/biopsy-kinds.html. Accessed January 22, 2013.
Pfenninger JL, Fowler GC. Procedures for Primary Care Physicians. St. Louis, MO: Mosby-Year Book; 1994.
Sabiston DC, Lyerly HK. Textbook of Surgery. 15th ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Co.; 1997.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 12/2013