What is a Breast Biopsy?

A breast biopsy involves removing a sample of breast tissue to determine whether it is cancerous or benign. Other exams such as mammography and ultrasounds can detect abnormalities, however a biopsy is required to determine whether cancer is present

The radiologist will apply a local anesthesia called lidocaine. Using a hollow core needle, our radiologists can remove a piece of the detected abnormality. The needle is guided by imaging software that allows our radiologists to pinpoint the area of concern before extraction.

Core needle biopsy has proven to be the safest and most effective way to determine whether an abnormality is cancerous or not.

The Procedure

Whether it is an Ultrasound, Stereotactic, or MRI guided core biopsy, physicians will use the guidance of the corresponding equipment to pin point the exact location of the abnormality.

How should I Prepare?

Please remember to bring your prescription and insurance card with you on the day of your appointment.

For the biopsy to be done with minimal risk of bleeding, you must stop taking the following medications:

  • Coumadin, heparin, or plavix – Please consult with your referring physician for instructions prior to stopping the medication for the procedure.
  • 5 days prior to your scheduled procedure please stop taking ginkgo biloba, vitamin E (including multivitamins), and all pain relief medications including Ibuprofen ( Motrin, Advil, aleve, celebrex, etc.) and aspirin products (Ecotrin, excedrin, bayer, anacin). You can take Tylenol for pain relief as needed.

You may eat normally on the day of your appointment. You should shower the morning of your appointment because you may not be able to wet the breast until the day after your procedure.

You should wear lose fitting clothing and a supportive bra (e.g. sports bra) on the day of your procedure.