A breast biopsy is a non-surgical procedure performed when further evaluation of a breast lump or other abnormality is present. It involves obtaining a small tissue specimen that will be sent to an outside lab for a detailed microscopic analysis. The results from this analysis will assist your healthcare provider in determining recommendations for your follow-up care. One week prior to the exam, you will be asked to have some lab work done. You will also be asked to stop taking any medications that may impair blood clotting. This includes: blood thinners such as Coumadin, aspirin, aspirin-like drugs such as Ibuprofen, anti-depressants such as Nardil, nutritional supplements, vitamins, herbs, and over-the-counter medications like Tylenol Cold/Allergy Medication.
If you are unsure about a particular medication, please ask your healthcare provider. On the day of the exam, you will need someone to drive you to and from our facility. Bring a sports bra for comfort after the procedure. You will be asked to change into a gown. An ultrasound of the breast will be performed to determine the exact location of the area to be examined. No radiation is involved. The procedure begins when the radiologist numbs the area to be biopsied with a local anesthetic. You will experience a mild stinging sensation. Once the area is numb, a small nick in the skin will be made and then a biopsy needle will be placed directly into the area of concern. In order to obtain a satisfactory quantity of tissue for analysis, the needle will be passed three to five times into the abnormality through the same nick in the skin. A titanium clip will be left at the site of the biopsy. No sutures are necessary. You will leave the office with a dressing and ACE bandage on your chest. You may experience some localized bleeding and/or bruising of the breast. Most women report no scarring on the breast.