This procedure helps to locate and evaluate breast abnormalities. During testing, a mammogram is used to determine the area of concern in the breast, then a sample is removed and examined under a microscope. Breast biopsies leave little to no scarring.
Why is it necessary?
This type of breast biopsy is usually done to check a lump or micro calcification found during a 3D mammogram.
How do I prepare for the test?
- If you take a daily aspirin, stop 3-5 days before the biopsy unless your doctor advises otherwise.
- If you take a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin), enoxaparin sodium (Lovenox), or clopidogrel bisulfate (Plavix), consult your cardiologist or your PCP to determine if it’s safe to stop the medication for 3-5 days.
- Do not take ibuprofen, naproxen or fish oil 5 days before the biopsy.
- Let us know if you’re pregnant.
- Let us know if you’re unable to lay on your stomach for 30-40 minutes.
What happens on the day of my biopsy?
- You are allowed to eat and drink and take your approved medications.
- If you’re not allergic to acetaminophen, you may take 1-2 tablets before the biopsy.
- You will remove the clothing above your waist and change into a gown with the opening in front.
- Your skin will be washed with special soap.
- You will be given a shot to numb the area of your breast where the biopsy will occur.
- Mammogram images will be taken to determine exactly where the biopsy should be performed.
What happens during the test?
- You will either lie face down on a padded biopsy table with one of your breasts positioned in a hole in the table or have the procedure in a seated position.
- Your breast will be in compression during this procedure as during a mammogram.
- If you’re lying down for the procedure, the table will be raised once you’re comfortable.
- After your breast is numb, the doctor will make a very small incision.
- Using the imaging, the doctor will guide the needle into the biopsy area.
- A sample of breast tissue will be removed through the needle.
- A small breast clip is then inserted into the breast to mark the biopsy site.
- The needle is removed, and pressure will be applied on the needle site to stop any bleeding.
- A small bandage strip will be put on the needle site.
- You may shower 24 hours after the biopsy, blotting the bandage dry (do not rub).
- Do not submerge breast in water until bandage strips fall off and biopsy site is healed.
What else should I know about the test?
- The small cut made for the needle will not need stitches.
- After the biopsy, a small metal clip will be inserted into the breast to mark the biopsy site for future reference.
- A post procedure mammogram will be taken to document the clip placement and biopsy site.
- The entire procedure will take approximately 60-90 minutes.
What happens after the test?
- You will be able to resume your usual activities within 1 day.
- Avoid heavy lifting or strenuous activities for 3 days.
- The site may be tender for 2-3 days and you may have bruising, swelling or minor bleeding.
- For extra support while you heal, wear a bra.
- You may take acetaminophen every 4-6 hours as needed.
- To ease pain and discomfort, you may apply a cold pack on the site for 10-20 minutes as needed (putting a thin cloth between the ice and your skin) to reduce swelling.
- Your doctor’s office will receive your results in approximately 4 days.
- If test results are not clear, you may need another biopsy.
- Call your doctor if you experience complications.
Questions? Please contact:
- Lane Parker, Radiology Nurse Navigator 757-312-6564
- Emma Martin, Radiology Procedure Nurse 757-312-4067
If you have any issues outside of our normal business hours, please contact your PCP or referring provider. In case of emergency, call 911.