A biopsy involves the removal of a small sample of tissue from the breast so that it can be analyzed for atypical cells. Your physician might recommend a biopsy if there has been an abnormality noted on your mammogram.
Fact: Most breast biopsies reveal the suspicious spot to be benign, or non-cancerous.
Needle localization biopsy involves the insertion of a thin wire into the breast to mark the suspicious tissue for the surgeon. First, you will go to the mammography unit where your breast will be compressed and X-rays taken, in the same manner in which your routine mammograms are done.
You will remain compressed while the radiologist — a physician who is expert at image interpretation — views the X-rays immediately to confirm that the suspicious area has indeed been captured on the film. While your breast is still compressed, the area will be numbed with a local anesthetic. The radiologist will then insert a thin wire into the breast to pinpoint the suspicious tissue. More X-rays will be taken to verify that the placement of the wire has been accurate. Once accurate placement has been confirmed, the wire is secured into place. You will then go to the operating room where your surgeon will remove the suspicious tissue through an incision in the breast.
Your physician will give you specific instructions regarding your activity level and wound care at the time of discharge.
Generally, you should allow 72 hours for any anesthetic agents to be completely removed from your body. You should avoid alcohol and any medicines not prescribed by your doctor during this time, and do not sign any important papers or operate dangerous machinery during the first 24 hours after your biopsy.
You will be instructed to call your physician’s office to schedule a follow-up appointment, usually within 2 weeks of your biopsy. However, you must notify your physician immediately if you develop fever, or have redness or drainage from the biopsy site.