Breast Surgical Biopsy
(Biopsy, Breast Surgical; Breast Open Biopsy; Biopsy, Breast Open; Breast Needle Localization; Localization, Breast Needle)
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Click here to view an animated version of this procedure.
Breast surgical biopsy is surgery to remove all or part of a breast mass. A lab will check the sample to see if there is something unusual about it.
Reasons for Procedure
Breast surgical biopsy is done to look at a suspicious part of the breast. It can find out of the spot is cancerous or not.
It may be done for:
Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will go over some problems, like:
These factors may raise the risk of problems:
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
Your doctor may do blood tests.
Leading up to the biopsy:
You may be given:
Description of the Procedure
There are a few ways the doctor can remove the mass:
Open Breast Biopsy
A small cut will be made over the area. Part or all of the mass will be removed. The site will be closed with stitches or staples. It will be bandaged.
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 found, a fine wire will be placed into the breast. The wire will point to the spot that needs to be removed. A small cut will be made and the mass will be removed.
How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia will prevent pain. Pain and discomfort after the procedure can be managed with medicine.
It will take about 2-5 days to get your test results.
Do not return to normal activities until your doctor says it is okay to do so. Follow your doctor’s instructions.
Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor if you have:
Canadian Breast Cancer Network
Canadian Cancer Society
Breast biopsy. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/screening-tests-and-early-detection/breast-biopsy.html. Updated October 9, 2017. Accessed January 29, 2018.
Breast cancer in women. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed... . Updated January 23, 2018. Accessed January 29, 2018.
General information about breast cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/breast/patient/breast-treatment-pdq. Updated November 2, 2017. Accessed January 29, 2018.
Last reviewed November 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 5/15/2018
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