A biopsy of the breast refers to a procedure in which a sample of the tissue within the breast is obtained. This is performed with the assistance of ultrasound, X-ray (stereotactic) or MRI guidance with the type of procedure and image guidance selected to optimize the sampling success while keeping in mind your comfort.
What you can expect during a breast biopsy?
The technologist will escort you to a changing room and then to the procedural or consultation room. The procedure will be explained in detail and a series of screening questions asked. You will be asked to sign a consent form. Prior to the procedure, the radiologist will meet with you to answer any questions or concerns you may have. The procedure usually takes between 30 and 60 minutes but sometimes longer depending on the image guidance and the number of sites targeted.
During a stereotactic or MRI-guided biopsy, you will lie on your stomach with your breast positioned through an aperture in the table. During an ultrasound-guided biopsy or needle localization, you will lie on either your back or side. Mammography-guided needle localizations are typically performed while you sit in a chair.
When the biopsy is over, the technologist will hold pressure on the biopsy site for several minutes to prevent or stop any bleeding. The site will be dressed with gauze and surgical tape, and an ice pack will be placed on it to reduce swelling and bruising
After your biopsy, a physician who specializes in analyzing tissue under a microscope will prepare a report which will be reviewed and forwarded to your physician. Normally the results are available in two or three business days.
Instructions will be provided when your appointment is scheduled. Usually there is minimal preparation. You may be told to stop taking blood thinners several days prior to the biopsy to minimize your risk of bleeding.
Refrain from using powder, cream, or deodorant on your breasts or under your arms on the day of the examination. Try to schedule the mammogram during the time of the month that your breasts are least sensitive. Wear a comfortable two-piece outfit to your appointment. If you have had prior mammograms at another facility please bring them with you. If you do not have copies of your prior mammograms, let us know and we will request them for you.