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Minimally Invasive Biopsy

The very idea of a biopsy may seem scary to you, but it's a necessary step in guarding your health. A sample taken during a biopsy will let doctors know if an area of concern within your breast is malignant or benign. Malignant means there is cancer; benign means there is not. A stereotactic biopsy uses a mammogram to guide the doctor, while an ultrasound biopsy relies on ultrasound images.

Before a biopsy, be sure to tell your doctor about any medications you are on.
If you take aspirin or a blood thinner, you will be asked to check with your primary care physician for whether you should stop taking it before the procedure. To get ready, you'll be asked to undress and put on a soft robe, with the opening in front. For a stereotactic biopsy, you will lie face-down on an examining table, so your breast can hang freely through an opening in the table. For an ultrasound biopsy, you will lie face-up or slightly to one side.

You will be given a local anesthetic to numb the breast that is being biopsied, and you will be awake for the procedure. A radiologist will insert a needle in your breast and remove a small amount of tissue. Then a marker will be inserted at the spot. This marker helps doctors in the future to know where you have been biopsied, but it is not noticeable from the outside.

After the biopsy a technician will take another mammogram of your breast.  This is to ensure that that marker is in the correct position.  Small surgical tapes will be closing the skin nick made by the biopsy and a dressing will be applied after the mammogram.  The whole process should take about 60 minutes.

Once you are dressed, you'll be able to go home. As the anesthetic wears off, you may experience a dull pain at the opening area. Talk to your doctor about over-the-counter painkillers you can take. And be sure to tell your doctor if the pain is severe.

The Susan Sheppard McGillicuddy Breast Center is committed to providing service and information to you as quickly as possible. Some facilities keep you waiting for as long as two weeks, but if you require a biopsy, the Breast Center will schedule it within two to three days of your mammogram. Also, the results of your biopsy will be given to you within two to three days.

For more information about a minimally invasive biopsy, (727) 820-6004.

Susan Sheppard McGillicuddy Breast Center
1201 Fifth Ave. N., Suite 105
St. Petersburg, FL 33705