What You Should Know
This is a simple and safe procedure performed in the office by our team of breast imaging specialists. Advanced computer imaging technology is used to map the precise location of the area of interest in the breast that was seen on your mammogram.
This technology aids the physician in removing a small section of the suspicious tissue with pinpoint accuracy. The sample is sent to a pathologist, a physician specializing in the analysis of tissue samples under a microscope for diagnosis. The entire biopsy should take approximately one hour.
The Biopsy Procedure
On the day of the procedure, you will be asked to undress and will be given a gown to wear. The technologist will position you face down on a specially designed table with your breast placed through an opening in the tabletop. The tabletop will be raised and the physician and technologist will perform the procedure from beneath the table.
Your breast will be slightly compressed and held in a fixed position to ensure the accuracy of the procedure. X-ray images will be taken, and special software will map the exact location where tissue samples will be taken.
The skin over the biopsy area will be cleansed with a special disinfecting soap, and numbed with a local anesthetic injected into the breast with a small, thin needle. A small incision will be made and the biopsy instrument will be inserted. You may feel some slight pressure during this time. As the samples are taken, you may hear a ‘click’ from the biopsy device. Several samples will be taken to ensure the most accurate diagnosis possible.
When the procedure is completed, a sterile gauze and an ice pack will be applied over the incision to minimize swelling and bleeding. Before you leave, a simple pressure bandage and some sterile strips will be placed over the incision. Stitches are not required for this procedure.
Once you receive instructions concerning the care of the biopsied area, you will be free to dress and go home.
Before the Biopsy Procedure
There are several things you can do to make your procedure easier and more efficient.
- Discuss any medication you are taking with your physician. You may be asked to discontinue the use of blood-thinning medications, including aspirin and aspirin-like products, a number of days prior to your biopsy procedure.
- Wear clothing that is comfortable and easy to remove.
- Avoid the use of deodorant, underarm powders or creams before the procedure. They may interfere with the quality of the images taken during your procedure.
- Eat a light meal before your procedure.
After the Biopsy Procedure
Immediately following the procedure, you will need to avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting for the remainder of the day. You may experience some discomfort and notice some bruising of the area that usually disappears within five to seven days. This is a normal part of the healing process. The physician will review the pathology report and discuss the findings with you. The results are usually available in 48-72 hours.
Early Detection is the Key
Your doctor has advised you to have a breast biopsy because an abnormal appearing area was seen on your mammogram. It is reassuring to know that the majority of breast biopsies are negative, that is, no signs of cancer are found. Numerous studies have shown that early detection greatly improves the chances for successful treatment of breast cancer and provides more treatment options.
This center uses the most advanced technology available to aid in the detection and diagnosis of breast cancer. The MultiCare Platinum™ breast biopsy system from Hologic will be used for your biopsy and has been designed to make this procedure as comfortable as possible for you, while producing superior clinical results.