Breast Biopsy or Aspiration
A breast biopsy is a technique where breast tissue is sampled with a needle and sent to the lab for analysis. These biopsy techniques can avoid the need for surgery, and usually cause only minimal discomfort.
An aspiration is a technique in which fluid is removed using a hollow-core needle.
The radiologist will determine which type of technique to use based on the appearance of the suspicious area on your mammogram or sonogram.
See information on sedation and pain management for this procedure.
MRI Breast Biopsy
MRI breast biopsy uses MRI images for guidance. It is used to biopsy an area that is not visible on mammogram or ultrasound.
Stereotactic Breast Biopsy
Stereotactic breast biopsy uses mammogram images for guidance. Your breast will be compressed and the lesion is located using the mammography device. The skin next to the lesion is then cleaned and is numbed with a local anesthetic. Using the mammogram guidance, a biopsy needle is inserted in the breast and several tissue samples are taken. A second set of images will be taken of the biopsied breast afterward to assure that the suspicious area has been adequately sampled. A tiny metal marker will be placed in your breast to mark the location of the biopsy. After the biopsy, a bandage is put on your breast. Total time in the office is approximately 1 to 1.5 hours.
Ultrasound-Guided Biopsy or Aspiration
Ultrasound-guided biopsy or aspiration uses ultrasound images for guidance. You will lie on a stretcher. The lesion in your breast is located with the ultrasound probe. The skin next to the lesion is cleansed and the breast is numbed with a local anesthetic. The radiologist will then pass a needle through the abnormal areas several times to sample it or to drain cyst fluid. Then pressure is held on the breast and a bandage is applied. Total time is approximately approximately 1 to 1.5 hours.
After the exam
After the biopsy, you can return to almost all normal activities. We recommend that you do not do any heavy exercise or lifting, and do not swim for 3 days after the biopsy.