How It Is Done continued...
After the probe
is removed, pressure is put on the site to stop any bleeding. The small cut
does not need stitches and leaves only a small scar.
vacuum-assisted core biopsy takes less than an hour.
An open biopsy is done by a general
gynecologist, or family medicine doctor. The biopsy
may be done in a surgery clinic or the hospital.
You will need to
take off all or most of your clothes above the waist. You will be given a gown
to use during the biopsy. The biopsy will be done while you sit or lie on an
examination table. Your hands may be at your sides or raised above your head
(depending on which position makes it easiest to find the lump).
An open biopsy can be done using local or general anesthesia. If local
anesthesia is used, you may also be given a sedative.
If you have
general anesthesia, an intravenous (IV) line will be put in your arm to give
you medications. You will not be awake during the biopsy.
the breast is numb (or you are unconscious), your doctor makes a cut through
the skin and into the breast tissue to the lump. If a small wire was placed
using mammogram to mark the biopsy site, your doctor will take a biopsy from
the area at the tip of the wire.
Stitches are used to close the
skin, and a bandage is put on. You will be taken to a recovery room until you
are fully awake. You can usually return to your normal activities the next
An open biopsy takes about 60 minutes.
picture of an
open breast biopsy.
How It Feels
You will feel only a quick sting from the
needle if you have a local anesthetic to numb the biopsy area. You may feel
some pressure when the biopsy needle is put in. After a
fine-needle aspiration biopsy, core needle biopsy, or
stereotactic biopsy, the site may be tender for 2 to 3
days. You may also have some bruising, swelling, or slight bleeding. You can use an ice pack or take an over-the-counter pain medicine (not aspirin) to help relieve swelling and mild pain.
hours after the biopsy, do not do any heavy lifting or other activities that
stretch or pull the muscles of your chest.
If you have general
anesthesia for an open breast biopsy, you will not be awake during the biopsy.
After you wake up, the area may be numb from a local anesthetic that was put in
the biopsy site. You will also feel sleepy for several hours.
1 to 2 days after an open biopsy, you may feel tired. You may also have a mild
sore throat if a tube was used to help you breathe during the biopsy. Using
throat lozenges and gargling with warm salt water may help with the sore
After an open biopsy, your breast may feel tender, firm,
swollen, and bruised. You can use an ice pack or take an over-the-counter pain medicine (not aspirin) to help relieve swelling and mild pain. The tenderness should go away in about a week, and the
bruising fades within 2 weeks. But the firmness and swelling may last for 6 to
8 weeks. You should wear a bra or sports bra for support for 2 to 3 days after
the biopsy. Do not do any heavy lifting or other activities that stretch or
pull the muscles of your chest.