The breast biopsy is a very important procedure through which a small breast tissue sample is taken so that it can be tested in a laboratory. The procedure is normally used to evaluate suspicious breast areas son that the doctor can figure out if the tissue is breast cancer or not. Various breast biopsy procedure types exist.
Cell abnormalities are identified and diagnosed when analyzing breast lumps or other unusual changes in breast tissue. It is also a procedure that is required when there are concerns or suspicions about the results of an ultrasound or mammogram. A lab report coming from a breast biopsy will determine the need to go through extra surgery or any other treatment.
Why Is The Breast Biopsy Done?
The doctor is going to recommend the breast biopsy in some specific situations, including:
- When there is a lump or a breast thickening present and breast cancer is suspected.
- The mammogram is showing a suspicious breast area that needs more investigation.
- A breast MRI is showing suspicious results.
- Ultrasound scans reveal suspicious findings.
- There is unusual areolar or nipple changes. This includes scaling, bloody discharges, dimpling skin and crusting.
Breast Biopsy Risks
Just like any other procedure, there are risks associated with performing a breast biopsy. This includes:
- Breast swelling and bruising.
- Bleeding or infection appearing at the biopsy site.
- Extra surgery or some other treatments might be required after biopsy results.
- Breast appearance is altered. This depends on the amount of tissue that is removed and the way in which the breast heals.
It is also important that you talk to the doctor in the event that you end up with a fever following the breast biopsy procedure. The same goes for having the biopsy site become warm or red or when unusual drainage appears at the site. All of these are signs that there is an infection present. When an infection is present, it is vital that prompt treatment is started.
How Do You Prepare For A Breast Biopsy?
Before you go in for a breast biopsy, it is important to talk to the doctor and tell him if:
- You suffer from allergies.
- You take anticoagulants (blood-thinning medications).
- You took aspiring during the past week.
- You cannot lie on the stomach for a longer period of time.
When the biopsy is done with the use of an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), you have to talk to the doctor in the event that a cardiac pacemaker is present. The same goes for any electronic device that is implanted inside the body. When you are pregnant or you believe that you might be pregnant, you have to discuss things with doctors. MRIs are usually not recommended in such cases.
During the scheduled appointment you should wear a bra. The health care team is going to place a sterile cold pack against the biopsy site when the procedure is done. The bra is really useful to hold this cold pack and offer breast support.