Michigan Breast Specialists
Core breast biopsy is a minimally invasive biopsy procedure used to sample breast tissue when you have an abnormal mammogram or ultrasound. It is done by the radiology doctor by either ultrasound or mammographic guidance, depending on the kind of abnormality. When using mammographic guidance it is referred to as a stereotactic biopsy and when with ultrasound guidance, is called an ultrasound core biopsy.
Overview of the Procedure
Stereotactic biopsy uses mammographic images to compute and locate the exact area of concern. You lie on your stomach with your breast down through the table. A mammogram is taken to find the area. You will be awake for the procedure. Once the area is found, a radiologist numbs the breast with a numbing medicine and makes a small nick in the skin, (about half the size of a pencil eraser). Small pieces of the abnormal area, called cores are removed with a special device. These cores of tissue are then sent to the pathology department for evaluation.
Ultrasound biopsy is done in a similar way except your breast is examined with the use of an ultrasound and you lie on your back rather than on your stomach. Again, a device is used to remove small pieces of tissue.
Generally, a very tiny titanium marker is placed at the site of the biopsy at the end of the procedure. It is placed so we may track this area in the future by mammogram or to identify the area if surgical removal is necessary. These clips are not painful and will not interfere with metal detectors or MRI machines.
In both procedures, the small incisions are closed with just a small bandage. An ice pack helps with the swelling, if it occurs.
Before the Procedure
Avoid taking aspirin, Motrin/Advil (ibuprofen), or Aleve (naprosyn) for one week prior to the biopsy. Also avoid Vitamin-E supplements. Daily multi-vitamin is okay.
Please notify your surgeon if you are taking any blood thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin) or Plavix.
Before the procedure you can eat and drink normally.
You may shower with an antibacterial soap.
Do not use any deodorants or creams on the breast or underarm, as a mammogram may be taken.
Dress comfortably in a two-piece outfit.
After the Procedure
You will be allowed to go home following the procedure and should be able to resume normal activity almost immediately.
We always suggest someone accompany you for all procedures but you are able to drive yourself home after if necessary.
You will have a small band-aid on the incision and you can take this off in 2 days.
If you experience any pain you can apply ice on and off for the next day.
You are able to return to all activities/work the next day.
You will be notified of the pathology results within 4 to 6 days of the procedure, and further treatment if necessary.
After the biopsy, it is normal to a small amount of bleeding or bruising and breast soreness or swelling at the area. Wearing a sports bra will help support the breast and minimize this.
Risks of the Procedure
Complications are extremely rare, but can include bleeding or hematoma (collection of blood). It is normal to have some bruising and soreness after the procedure up to one week.
When to Call
Please call if you develop
- A temperature greater than 101 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bleeding from the biopsy site that will not stop with 20 minutes of pressure and an ice pack.
- Rapid or unusual swelling of the breast.
- Whitish/greenish discharge or redness along the incision.
For more information on this procedure please visit our breast website at www.stjohnprovidence.org/breastcare.
For questions or concerns please call Michigan Breast Specialists:
Grosse Pointe Office: 313-647-3900
Warren Office: 586-582-6632