Several breast biopsy procedures are used to obtain a tissue sample from the breast. Your practitioner may recommend a particular procedure based on the size, location and other characteristics of the breast abnormality. If it’s not clear why you’re having one type of biopsy instead of another, ask your practitioner to explain. For many biopsies, you’ll get an injection to numb the area of the breast to be biopsied.
What to expect
Fine-needle aspiration biopsy
This is the simplest type of breast biopsy. For the procedure, you lie on a table. The radiologists use a fine needle – more slender than that used to obtain a blood sample or tissue sample – into the lump under Ultrasound guidance. Holding the ultrasound device (transducer) against your breast, the radiologist locates the mass within your breast, makes a small incision to insert the needle. The needle is attached to a syringe that can collect a sample of cells or fluid from the lump. Fine-needle aspiration is a quick way to distinguish between a fluid-filled cyst and a solid mass and, possibly, to avoid a more invasive biopsy procedure. If, however, the mass is solid, it will need further evaluation.
Core needle biopsy
This type of breast biopsy may be used to assess a breast lump that’s visible on a mammogram and/or ultrasound. A radiologist uses a thin, hollow needle to remove tissue samples from the breast mass using ultrasound guidance. Holding the ultrasound device (transducer) against your breast, the radiologist locates the mass within your breast, makes a small incision to insert the needle and takes several core samples of tissue to be sent to a lab for analysis. At the time of the breast biopsy, a tiny stainless steel marker or clip may be placed in your breast at the biopsy site. This is done so that if your biopsy is positive, your doctor or surgeon can locate the biopsy area to remove more breast tissue surgically.
On the day of your exam
Please arrive approximately 15 minutes prior to your appointment time to allow for parking and registration. If you bring friends or family to the appointment they will be asked to have a seat in a waiting room during your test. Children cannot be left unattended during the test, so please arrange for a caregiver.
After the procedure
You will go home with only bandages and an ice pack over the biopsy site. Although you should take it easy for the rest of the day, you’ll be able to resume your normal activities within a day. Bruising is common after core needle biopsy procedures. To ease pain and discomfort after a breast biopsy, you may take a non-aspirin pain reliever containing acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) and apply a cold pack as needed to reduce swelling.
Our pathologist prepares a pathology report that is sent to your practitioner, from whom you may obtain the results. If you have any questions regarding this procedure, please contact our department at at 608-342-4740.
Date of appointment _______________________________________ Time_____________________
Your procedure will be performed at Southwest Health at 1400 Eastside Road – Platteville, WI 53818. Please use the Main Hospital Entrance and check in at the Registration Desk prior to your scheduled procedure.
If you cannot keep your appointment please contact the radiology department at 608-342-4740 so that me may accommodate another patient.
NOTE: It may take 2-3 days to obtain verification from your insurance company for exams that require prior authorization, such as CT, MRI, Nuclear Stress, Injections, etc.