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Breast Biopsy: Common Questions Answered

by Akash Sharma Akash Sharma
A breast biopsy is a diagnostic procedure in which a small amount of breast tissue is removed by the doctor for the purpose of examination under a microscope. If cancer is detected during the procedure, the tissue is further analyzed to reach a more accurate diagnosis. This helps the doctor in detecting the type of breast cancer and also recommending the best possible treatment plan.      

A biopsy is considered when an abnormality or lump is felt in your breast during a mammogram or other breast imaging tests. It might also be considered when something suspicious such as a change in skin texture or dimpling is noticed by the physician during a clinical exam. If you are a suitable candidate for breast biopsy, you might wonder what it is and how it works. Here we answer the most common questions related to biopsy to calm your curiosity:

What are the types of breast biopsies and how are they different?

The two basic types of breast biopsies include surgical and needle. While the former involves an incision made in the skin, a needle is inserted through the skin in the latter.

Breast needle biopsy is further divided into two categories:

•Fine needle aspiration in which a thin, hollow needle is attached to the syringe
•Core needle biopsy in which a larger needle that removes a piece of tissue is used.

It’s important to extract tissues from the exact spots where the problem is detected. Therefore, a mammogram, ultrasound or MRI is used by the doctors for assisting a breast needle biopsy. The mammogram-guided biopsy is known as a stereotactic biopsy.

How painful is each kind of biopsy and what is the recovery duration?

For breast needle biopsies, local anesthesia is generally administered that makes the procedure comfortable and tolerable for the patient.  

Although the recovery time is typically short, it depends on the amount of bleeding or bruising. Experts like Dr. Sidharth Sahni reveal that the chances of bruising are higher in core needle biopsy as compared to a fine needle biopsy. Bruising from core needle biopsy might take several weeks to resolve completely. Expected recovery times can be discussed with your doctor who will also recommend ways to take care of the area being biopsied.

Is general anesthesia or an overnight stay in the hospital required? How do doctors determine the type of biopsy that will be best for the patient?

No general anesthesia is required in case of breast needle biopsy. Local anesthesia is usually enough. A surgical breast biopsy might require general anesthesia but doesn’t require an overnight stay at the hospital.

If your mammogram or breast ultrasound reveals an abnormal finding, the best type of biopsy is determined by the radiologist on the basis of the amount of tissue required for an accurate diagnosis. It also depends on the questions that the doctor seeks to answer with the help of biopsy.

Having a biopsy in no way confirms that you have breast cancer. Most breast biopsies, in fact, turn out to be benign (non-cancerous). For most accurate results and the best possible treatment plan, experts such as Dr. SidharthSahni of Apollo hospital must be considered.

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About Akash Sharma Advanced   Akash Sharma

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Joined APSense since, May 8th, 2019, From Delhi, India.

Created on Aug 29th 2019 07:52. Viewed 433 times.

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