The breast biopsy procedure is done to remove a small breast tissue sample that will be used in laboratory testing. Doctors do this in order to evaluate a suspicious breast area with the purpose of determining if it is breast cancer or not. Various biopsy procedures are possible.
Doctors utilize the collected samples in order to diagnose cell abnormalities, some unusual breast changes and suspicions that appear during ultrasounds or mammograms. Lab reports can often help determine if extra surgery is needed or if some treatment options are more beneficial.
Why Is The Breast Biopsy Procedure Done?
Doctors recommend the breast biopsy procedure when:
- Breast thickening or lumps are noticed and breast cancer is suspected.
- The ultrasound reveals something suspicious.
- Mammograms show suspicious breast areas.
- There are unusual areolar or nipple changes noticed. This includes scaling, bloody discharge, dimpling skin or crusting.
Breast Biopsy Risks
The most common risks associated with this procedure are:
- Bleeding or infection noticed at biopsy site.
- Breast swelling and bruising.
- Other treatments that were done.
- Breast appearance that is altered, based on the healing of the breast and the amount of tissue that is removed.
It is really important that an experienced professional takes care of the biopsy because of the fact that this drastically reduces the possibility of having to deal with complications.
It should be added that the doctor has to be contacted whenever a fever develops or if the site of the biopsy becomes warm or red. The same goes when there is an unusual drainage that appears. The reason why you want to do this is that there may be an infection that would force prompt treatment.
How To Prepare For The Breast Biopsy Procedure
Before you go through with the procedure, it is really important that you tell the doctor some things, including:
- Whether you have some allergies.
- If you took aspirin during the past week.
- If you cannot lie on the stomach for a longer period of time.
- If you take anticoagulants (blood-thinning drugs).
When the biopsy is done with the use of an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), the doctor should be aware of the presence of electronic devices that are present inside the body, like a pacemaker. The same thing goes for when you are pregnant. The MRI is normally not recommended when this is the case.
When you go to the appointment, you should wear a bra. A cold pack may be placed against the site of the biopsy right after the procedure. The bra is useful to hold that cold pack properly in place. You also gain breast support.
After The Breast Biopsy
In most cases you go back home right after the procedure, except with the surgical biopsy that requires a short hospitalization period. Make sure that you will take it as easy as possible for the remainder of the day. Normal activities should be resumed the following day and not sooner. It is normal to see bruising. When experiencing discomfort and pain, non-aspirin pain relievers can be used in combination with cold packs that can reduce swelling.