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Breast Surgical Biopsy

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by Abouzied M

(Biopsy, Breast Surgical; Breast Open Biopsy; Biopsy, Breast Open; Breast Needle Localization; Localization, Breast Needle)

Click here to view an animated version of this procedure.
 

Definition

Breast surgical biopsy is when the doctor makes a cut in the breast to remove all or part of a mass. The mass is examined in a lab.
 

What to Expect

Prior to Procedure

Your doctor may do the following:
  • Physical exam, especially a breast exam
  • Blood tests
  • Mammogram and/or breast ultrasound
Leading up to the biopsy:
  • Talk to your doctor about your current medicines. Certain medicines may need to be stopped before the procedure, such as:
    • Anti-inflammatory medication
    • Blood-thinning medication
  • Eat a light meal the night before your procedure. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
  • Shower the morning of the biopsy. You may be asked to use a special antibacterial soap.

Description of the Procedure

There are different ways the doctor can remove the mass from your breast:
Open Breast Biopsy
You will be given either general or local anesthesia. The skin over the area will be cleaned. A small cut will be made over the area. A sample of the tissue or all of the mass will be removed. The site will be closed with stitches or staples. A bandage will be applied.
Open Breast Biopsy
nucleus factsheet image
If all of the mass is removed, then this type of biopsy may be referred to as a lumpectomy.
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Open Breast Biopsy
nucleus factsheet image
If all of the mass is removed, then this type of biopsy may be referred to as a lumpectomy.
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Needle Localization
This technique will be used if the mass is too deep to be felt, but it can be seen with imaging tests. After the mass is located, a fine wire will be placed into your breast. The wire will point to the spot that needs to be biopsied. A small cut will be made in the area and the mass will be removed.

How Long Will It Take?

1-3 hours

Will It Hurt?

You may feel pain in your breast after the biopsy. Your doctor will prescribe pain medicine.

Post-procedure Care

At Home
When you return home after the procedure, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
  • 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.
  • Restrict exercise for 2-3 weeks after surgery.
  • If you have stitches, have them removed in about a week.
  • Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions.
It will take about 2-5 days to receive your test results.
 

RESOURCES

American Cancer Society
http://www.cancer.org

Breastcancer.org
http://www.breastcancer.org

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation
http://www.cbcf.org

Canadian Cancer Society
http://www.cancer.ca

 

References


Biopsy. The Breastcancer.org website. Available at: http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/testing/biopsy.jsp. Updated September 17, 2012. Accessed January 22, 2013.


Breast biopsy. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center website. Available at: http://www.upmc.com/Services/pathology/biopsies-lab-tests/biopsy/common/Pages/breast.aspx. 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.

 

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