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Jackpersad & Partners Inc.

Breast Biopsy

The radiologist performing the biopsy will insert the needle using guidance from ultrasound or mammogram images. This ensures the tissue sample is taken from the area where the abnormality has been identified.

You should bring recent breast imaging (mammograms and/or ultrasounds) and reports for the doctor performing the procedure to review before doing the biopsy. It is advisable to have someone drive you home after the procedure.

Do not wear talcum powder or deodorant on the day of the biopsy as these can mimic or imitate calcium spots in the breast which makes it harder for the radiologist to identify the abnormality that requires biopsy. You might consider the clothes you wear on the day so you only need to remove clothes from the upper part of your body.

The skin of the breast is swabbed with antiseptic and then a very fine needle is used to administer local anaesthetic to numb the area of the breast for biopsy. The local anaesthetic stings for only a few seconds when it is being administered, and after this, the area will be numb.

A small cut is made in the skin and the biopsy needle is gently inserted into the breast. Several samples are taken. When each sample is taken there is a clicking noise, and you may have a feeling of pressure in the breast where the sample is taken. The biopsy procedure may sometimes feel uncomfortable but is not usually painful because of the local anaesthetic used.

After the samples have been taken, the biopsy area will be pressed on firmly for a few minutes to reduce bleeding, and then covered with a sterile dressing.

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A Breast Biopsy is where a special needle is inserted into the breast to take a small sample of breast tissue from an area of concern so that it can be sent to a laboratory for testing. An abnormality may have been identified on a scan or X-ray image or may have been felt as a lump.

The area that has been biopsied may feel a little tender for several days and there is usually some bruising. If the biopsy area is painful you can take paracetamol. Aspirin is not recommended because it thins the blood and can increase bruising or bleeding at the biopsy site. You should avoid vigorous physical exercise or heavy lifting for 24 hours after the procedure as this may cause a bleed.

The small nick or cut that was made for the biopsy usually heals over in a few days and you will have a tiny scar that will be barely visible once healed. There is a very small risk of infection. In the very unlikely event that the biopsy site becomes infected, a course of antibiotics may be required from your doctor.

Contact your doctor if you experience excessive swelling, bleeding, have fluid draining from the wound, redness or heat in the breast after the biopsy.

The time taken for the procedure varies according to how the biopsy is done. For example, an ultrasound-guided core biopsy may take only 20 minutes. A mammographic guided core biopsy (also called a “stereotactic”) may take up to an hour.

Doing a biopsy of tissue, especially if it is located deep within the breast, carries a slight risk that the needle will pass through the chest wall, allowing air around the lung that could collapse a lung. This complication is a rare occurrence and is called a pneumothorax.

A Breast Biopsy is a way of getting accurate information without needing an operation to surgically remove the tissue for testing.

Stereotactic Breast Core Biopsy

A Stereotactic Breast Biopsy is a minimally invasive procedure, which uses x-ray imaging techniques to gather tissue samples from a breast abnormality. Sometimes these abnormalities turn out not to be a problem.

If there is a potential problem, early detection is essential and increases treatment options and the likelihood of successful recovery.

For your Stereotactic Breast Biopsy appointment, you should plan on being at Jackpersad for a couple of hours, which will include all pre- and post-procedure care. The procedure itself will take about 60 minutes. The breast being biopsied will be compressed (similar to a mammogram), while x-ray imaging is used to help locate the abnormality.

Once the abnormality is located, the area will be sterilized. A radiologist will inject a local anesthetic into your skin and deeper tissues to numb the area. A very small skin incision will be made. Most patients experience some minor discomfort during this procedure.

The radiologist will then use imaging techniques to locate the abnormality and extract several tissue samples to be sent to and interpreted by a pathologist. After the tissue is removed, a small metallic marker will be placed in your breast. This marker is a reference point for future imaging, and confirms that the area of concern has been biopsied.

Following your Stereotactic Breast Biopsy, you will need to wear a supportive bra and keep the sterile dressing that covers the incision clean and dry for the first 24–48 hours. You should apply an ice pack over the biopsy site following the procedure.

 

Detailed self-care instructions will be provided to you immediately following your biopsy.

Avoid any strenuous activity for 48 hours following your procedure, especially activities that involve repetitive movement of the chest and arms, such as lifting, vacuuming, swimming and exercising.

Image by philippe spitalier

Ultrasound-Guided Breast Core Biopsy

An Ultrasound-Guided Breast Biopsy is a non-radiation, minimally invasive technique used to gather tissue samples from a breast abnormality discovered during a diagnostic mammogram and/or breast ultrasound. Sometimes these abnormalities turn out not to be a problem.

 

If there is a potential problem, early detection is essential and increases treatment options and the likelihood of successful recovery.

For your Ultrasound-Guided Breast Biopsy appointment, you should plan on being at Jackpersad for approximately an hour, which will include all pre-and post-procedure care. Most diagnostic procedures are simple to prepare for and have a quick recovery time. With a few easy steps, you will be ready for your procedure.

Once the abnormality is located, the area will be cleaned. A radiologist will inject a local anaesthetic into your skin and deeper tissues to numb the area. A very small skin incision—approximately 1/4 inch— will be made. Most patients experience some minor discomfort during this procedure. Some experience no discomfort at all.

The radiologist will then use imaging techniques to locate the abnormality and extract several tissue samples to be sent to and interpreted by a pathologist.

Most diagnostic procedures are simple to prepare for and have a quick recovery time. With a few easy steps you will be ready for your procedure.

Following your Ultrasound-Guided Breast Biopsy, you will need to wear a supportive bra and keep the gauze dressing that covers your incision clean and dry for the first 24–48 hours. Avoid any strenuous activity for 48 hours following your procedure, especially activities that involve repetitive movement of the chest and arms, such as lifting, vacuuming, swimming and exercising hours. You should ice the biopsy site following the procedure. Detailed self-care instructions will be provided to you immediately following your biopsy.