While you may have hoped that your breast exam was the end of the road in terms of testing, a breast biopsy is a helpful exam that provides accurate results. The procedure involves the removal of a small sample of your breast tissue for laboratory testing. A breast biopsy can make you feel anxious, but additional testing may be necessary for your long-term health. Below you will find helpful tips for preparing for your breast biopsy.
Preparing for Your Breast Biopsy
The best way to prepare for your breast biopsy is to be informed. Ask your medical provider questions and gather the necessary information so you are fully prepared. Before your biopsy, consider asking the following questions. This can help you feel empowered as you’ll have more information as you navigate the process.
- Is there anything I should do to prepare before the day of the procedure?
- How should I prepare on the day of my breast biopsy?
- What type of biopsy procedure will be used, and where will the tissue be taken from?
- Will I be awake during the procedure?
- What tests will be done on the breast tissue from the biopsy?
- Do I need to rest or can I get back to my daily routine right away?
- When will I get the results, and who should I expect to hear from?
Follow your medical provider’s instructions on how to prepare for the procedure. Most providers recommend wearing comfortable clothing, including a bra, to your appointment. A supportive bra is helpful as you may need to place an ice pack in it (near the biopsy site) after the procedure.
Why do I need a biopsy?
Your healthcare provider may recommend a breast biopsy in Houston for a variety of reasons. The procedure evaluates suspicious areas in your breasts. A breast biopsy may be necessary if any of the following occur:
- Another diagnostic tool (ultrasound or MRI) reveals a suspicious finding in your breast
- A lump or increased thickness in your breast is found
- If it is suspected that you may have breast cancer
- Your mammogram results indicate suspicious areas in your breast
- Issues with your nipple, including changes to your nipple or areola, crusting, scaling, dimpling skin, or bloody discharge
Types of Biopsy Procedures
There are various types of breast biopsy procedures. Depending on the location, size, and characteristics of the breast abnormality, you will likely have one of the following.
- Fine-Needle Aspiration: This is often used to evaluate a lump in your breast. A thin needle attached to a syringe is used to collect a sample of cells or fluid from the lump.
- Core Needle: This type of biopsy is used to assess a breast lump that’s visible using a diagnostic tool (mammogram, ultrasound, or MRI) or one that your healthcare provider can feel during a physical breast exam. A thin needle removes portions of actual tissue from the mass. A clip is placed into the biopsy site and a mammogram photo is taken to mark the area where the tissue was taken from.
- Surgical: This type of biopsy involves the removal of the breast mass (or a portion of it) for examination. Still, the procedure involves local anesthetic and, in some cases, sedation.
Breast Biopsy Results
After your breast biopsy, it’s best to take it easy for the rest of the day to recover. You will be given instructions for how to care for your biopsy site. You may experience some bruising and swelling. Still, this is completely normal and should subside within a few days. You should get your results within a few days, in addition to any next steps you need to take. If you need breast cancer screening in Houston, contact the team at Pink Door Imaging for an appointment.