Breast Biopsy

The Center for Breast Health offers a way to streamline the diagnostic process. Tissue samples are obtained through an outpatient procedure. If done by Mammotome biopsy, it can be performed in less than an hour.

The Mammotome biopsy procedure is available at the Center for Breast Health, utilizing the collaborated efforts of the surgeons and radiologists.

A precision guidance system directs a biopsy needle to the exact spot that must be tested. The needle removes the minimum amount of tissue needed to accurately determine if the sample is cancerous. Your doctor will give careful consideration to whether you are a candidate for this procedure.

Prior To The Exam

On the day of your biopsy, eat only a light meal since you will be flat on your stomach during the procedure. Wear comfortable clothing; a two-piece outfit is easiest for undressing. Please avoid wearing talcum powder or deodorant on the day of your biopsy.

If you take aspirin or blood thinners such as heparin or Coumadin, please check with your physician. It is recommended that these medications be discontinued three days prior to the procedure. Regular medications should be taken as prescribed.

A friend or family member should accompany you to the Center for Breast Health. Plan on being at our center for about 1 1/2 hours.

During The Exam

You will be assisted onto a padded examination table and be face down during the entire procedure. Your breast will be positioned through a special round opening in the table and compressed with paddles similar to a mammogram.

Several x-rays will be taken and the technologist will ask you to hold your breath for a short time. It is important that you do not move during the procedure, so request any extra pillows or padding to provide optimal comfort before the procedure starts.

After the breast is in position, the skin is cleansed with a cold antiseptic solution and anesthetized with a small needle. You may feel a sting when the injection is given.

A sampling needle will be placed in the breast to extract pieces of tissue.  At this point you may sense pressure, but you should not experience any pain. As the samples are taken, you will hear a loud "click" from the biopsy instrument. Between three and five samples, or "cores" of tissue are removed and sent to the pathology department for analysis.

You will be informed about what is happening at all times. If you experience any pain or discomfort, please tell the staff.

After the Exam

Apply ice to the breast to relieve swelling/bruising after the procedure. You may use Tylenol or Advil (2 tablets) every 4 to 6 hours for discomfort, if needed. Most women do not find it necessary to restrict their activities after the procedure. You may resume your regular work or other activity schedule if you feel ok. You may notice bruising in the area of the needle biopsy. This should resolve in 5-7 days. If you notice any bleeding/drainage, excessive swelling, redness or heat, please call us.

The final pathology report is usually available within 2-3 working days. You will be notified by Center for Breast Health staff and/or your physician regarding these results.

It is important that you have the information you need. If you have questions or concerns, please call the Center for Breast Health at 563-421-7625 or toll free 1-800-215-1444.

Contact the Center for Breast Health


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