Common Questions About Breast Biopsy

What is a breast biopsy?
A breast biopsy is a procedure that takes samples of breast tissue in order for it to be examined in a lab. The procedure allows doctors to detect any abnormal cells present in the breast. Breast biopsies are commonly used to evaluate breast lumps, suspicious mammogram findings, and other breast abnormalities. They help doctors determine if you need additional treatment for your situation.

How do I prepare for a breast biopsy?
Your doctor will give you specific instructions about how to prepare for your procedure. You should be able to eat until four hours prior to the biopsy. It is recommended that you avoid applying deodorant, lotion, and powder near your breast. Before your procedure, inform your healthcare provider of any regular medications or allergies you have. You might need to lie on your stomach for an extended period of time, so you should tell your doctor if this is an issue.

What should I expect during the procedure?
On the day of your breast biopsy, you will be given a gown to change into. The doctor will give you a local anesthetic through a small injection to numb the area. The anesthetic might burn until the area becomes numb. The doctor will use an ultrasound to guide the biopsy needle into position. Then, they will insert the needle into your breast through a tiny incision. The needle allows the doctor to take a sample of breast tissue to be examined in a lab. At this point, your breast will be numb, and you will likely only feel slight pressure from the needle.

It is common for a tiny clip to be placed inside your breast to mark the site of the biopsy. This allows doctors to easily locate the area during any possible future procedures. You will receive an adhesive strip, a bandage, and an ice pack after all of the tissue samples have been taken and the marking clip is placed.

What happens after the procedure?
You should be able to resume normal activities within a day of the biopsy. Avoid strenuous activities for the rest of the day. Bruising is normal, and ice packs can help with any swelling. Your tissue samples will be sent to a lab and then examined. After your doctor receives the pathology report, they will discuss the results with you.

Are there any risks associated with breast biopsy?
A breast biopsy is a safe and effective procedure. There is a very small risk of infection or bleeding at the biopsy site. It is also possible for the breast to heal with an altered appearance. If you develop any signs of infection after your procedure, you should notify your provider.

Breast Biopsy at Radiology Associates of Hartford
Radiology Associates of Hartford offers breast biopsy services in convenient outpatient settings in Avon, Bloomfield, Enfield, Glastonbury, and Rocky Hill. Our Enfield office is an ACR Breast Center of Excellence. If you would like to learn more about breast biopsy, please call Radiology Associates of Hartford at 860-969-6400.

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