Breast Biopsy- Obstetrics and Gynecology
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A procedure that removes a sample of breast tissue or an entire lump so that it can be checked for signs of disease. Imaging procedures (such as ultrasound, MRIs, or x-rays) are often used during a biopsy to guide the surgeon. A pathologist then examines the sample under a microscope or performs other tests on it. Common types of breast biopsies include:
- Core needle biopsy: The use of a wide needle to remove small tissue sample(s) that are about the size of a grain of rice. It may cause a temporary bruise. Also called core biopsy.
- Fine-needle aspiration biopsy: The use of a thin needle to drain fluid and/or to remove cells.
- Surgical biopsy: The removal of part, or all, of a lump so it can be checked for signs of cancer. An incisional biopsy removes a sample of breast tissue. An excisional biopsy removes an entire lump or suspicious area. Wire localization (also called needle localization and needle (wire) localization) may be used to mark the area of abnormal tissue before the biopsy.
- Vacuum-assisted biopsy: The removal of a small sample of breast tissue using a probe that is connected to a vacuum device. The small cut made in the breast is much smaller than with surgical biopsy. This procedure causes little scarring, and no stitches are needed. It may also be called vacuum-assisted core biopsy.
Biopsies are usually done in a doctor’s office or a clinic on an outpatient basis. This means you will go home the same day as the procedure. Local anesthesia is used for many biopsies, so you’ll be awake but won't feel pain during the procedure. General anesthesia is commonly used for surgical biopsies, which means you’ll be asleep during the procedure.