Breast Biopsy

Breast Biopsy


A breast biopsy usually is performed to determine if an abnormal area or lump in your

breast is cancerous.

In this procedure, a tissue sample of the area concerned is removed so it can be examined

by a pathologist.

Breast biopsy my involve one of three main techniques: fine needle aspiration biopsy, core needle

biopsy, or surgical biopsy.

Your doctor will choose the technique that best fits your situation.

During a fine needle aspiration biopsy, your doctor will insert a needle into your breast.

Some form of guidance such as an ultrasound probe wil lbe used to guide the needle to the correct area.

Then fluid or a small samlple of tissue will be removed.

A core needle biopsy is done to remove severall small pieces of tissue, or cores or tissue, from the breast.

It may be guided using on of several techniques.

During a stereotactic core needle biopsy, you will lie face down on the table with your breast

inserted through a hole in the table.

Your doctor will inject a local anesthetic to numb the area.

Then, using a digital mamogram as a guide, your doctor will insert a a hollow needle into the area of concern.

Several small cylinders of tissue will be removed for examination.

During an ultrasound guided core needle biopsy, your doctor will use an ultrasound probe to located the

area of concern.

A hollow needle will be inserted to removed several cores of tissue.

Fine needle aspiration and core needle biopsies involve removing small samples of fluid or tissue

using a needle.

However, if an area of concern detected by mamogram or ultraound is not accessible by core needle biopsy,

or if your physician wants to remove the entire area, a surgical biopsy may be reccommended.

A surgical biopsy is done in an operating room using the techniques excision biopsy and incisional biopsy.

During an excisional biopsy, your surgeon will make an incision in your breast and remove the entire mass.

At the end of the procedure, the incision will be closed.

Your surgeon will perform an incisional biopsy if only a small part of the area of concern needs to be

removed, usually to make a diagnosis.

At the end of the procedure, the incision will be closed.

If the abnormality cannot be felt, needlie localization will be used to mark the location of the area of concern.

During this procedure, your radiologist will insert a hook wire into your breast through a needle under

mammogram or ultrasound guidance in order to mark the area.

The needle will be removed, but the wire will stay in place.

You will then go to the operating room where your surgeon will make an incision in your breast.

He or she will follow the wire to locate the targeted area.

Then remove it.

An x-ray will be taken of your breast to make sure the targeted area has been removed.

Then your surgeon will close the incision.

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This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

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