How Breast Biopsy is Done and are There Any Risks Involved

Breast lump removal: Risk factors, causes, what to expect, and recove

Your doctor might recommend you get a breast biopsy done if he/she detects a suspicious area in your breast. The biopsy is a test to check whether the area is cancerous or not. The procedure entails a portion of the breast tissue being taken from the area and sent over to the laboratory for further testing. The biopsy test does not mean you already have cancer; it is conducted to check whether the suspicious area has any cancerous cells or not. If they are cancerous, it helps your doctor refer you to an oncologist for the next line of treatment.

How breast biopsy is done, and how should you prepare for it?

When you have been recommended to get a breast biopsy done, you need to prepare for it immediately. Talk to your doctor to understand how breast biopsy is done and whether there are any risks entailed for you. Generally, there are no major risks, but the area does swell up, and some women experience bruising due to the procedure.

You must ensure you choose a good clinic for the procedure as you could experience bleeding at the site if you catch an infection. The shape of your breast changes due to the tissue sample is removed. It needs some time to heal. 

In case you have a fever when you come home, immediately call your doctor for medical aid and assistance.

How is the procedure done? 

There are several types of the breast biopsy procedure. Based on your individual profile and the results of the recommended medical tests, your doctor might conduct any one of the following tests- 

  • Core needle – Under the guidance of an ultrasound procedure, the doctor uses a very thin and hollow needle to remove the breast tissue sample.
  • Fine-needle aspiration – This is the simplest of the breast biopsy procedure. The needle is connected to the syringe for collecting the fluid or the cell sample from the lump. 
  • Stereotactic – This procedure takes the help of mammograms to get the exact locations of the suspicious area of the breast. Here, you need to lie down with your face on the table. The breast is positioned to fit inside a hole in the table. Some clinics often carry out this procedure with you seated in a chair. The time taken for this biopsy procedure is generally 30 minutes, and you need to stay in that position for half-an-hour to one hour at the most.
  • MRI guided core needle – As the name suggests, the core needly procedure is carried out under the guidance of an MRI. Here, many samples of breast tissue are collected and sent over to the laboratory for tests. 
  • Ultrasound guided core needle – With the help of an ultrasound device, the doctor locates the suspicious area and, with a needle, extracts the tissue sample for tests.

The above is an insight into how breast biopsy is done. You will be prescribed any one of the above procedures to determine whether the lump or suspicious area in your breast is cancerous or not. These procedures are safe, and they are always carried out at good clinics to make you feel comfortable and ready.