Breast Health Services
Information on ultrasonic guided core breast biopsy
Your breast ultrasound found an area for which we are suggesting On the day of your biopsy, please arrive 30 minutes before your
further evaluation with an ultrasound core biopsy. Many times appointment time. This will allow registration and preparation
ultrasound can tell if an area is harmless (benign) or cancerous time. The procedure itself will usually take less than an hour. You
(malignant), but sometimes it is not possible to tell from the may eat, drink, and take your usual medications unless directed
imaging alone. Ultrasound guided breast biopsy is a highly otherwise. Please dress comfortably, preferably with a loose
accurate way to determine fully what is causing the change, and fitting front button-opening shirt or blouse. Also, please wear a
often used for best accuracy even if an area can be felt on physical supportive bra to hold the ice pack in place after the procedure.
examination. It is meant to sample an area, but not necessarily to It is a good idea to avoid exercise or strenuous activity for 24
remove it fully. This type of biopsy is faster with less pain and less hours following your procedure. Unless your doctor indicates
scarring than a surgical biopsy. otherwise, you do not need to have someone else drive you but
you can do so if you would like. We recommend you leave
The ultrasound guided core breast biopsy does not use x-ray. This valuables, earrings, and necklaces at home. We will provide you
procedure allows the physician to locate quickly and easily a with further instructions for care at home.
sample of breast tissue. During your biopsy, local anesthesia
(“numbing medicine”) keeps discomfort to a minimum and The tissue samples obtained are sent to a pathologist and
usually there is no visible scarring after the biopsy. This numbing carefully studied. Biopsy results are usually available within 72
feels like a needle prick and possibly some stinging or burning, but hours. Either the performing physician, a nurse navigator, or your
usually goes away in less than a minute. You may still feel pressure, referring physician will contact you regarding your results.
but if you feel pain, more local anesthesia can usually be given.
Most women have minimal if any discomfort during and after the If your biopsy showed a non-cancerous (benign) condition, you
procedure. Usually a narrow guide is placed through a small nick may be placed in a special surveillance program with follow-up
in the skin, and up to 5 tissue samples are obtained. To be able to imaging to make sure that there is not any significant change. If
follow the area, a tiny metal clip is often left at the biopsy site. This your biopsy shows breast cancer, you will need to see a breast
cannot be felt, is harmless, and does not need to be removed, but surgeon for additional plans. The results of the biopsy are usually
is easily seen on mammograms for later follow up or if the very useful to a breast surgeon in determining further care. In
pathology indicates more surgery needs to be performed. less than 5% of image directed core needle biopsies, the results
will not be conclusive and you will need to undergo an open
Unless your physician instructs otherwise avoid taking aspirin, surgical breast biopsy for further evaluation.
aspirin-containing products, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory
drugs such as Motrin, Advil, or Aleve for 3-5 days prior to your The staff and Radiologist Physicians of Saint Thomas Health
procedure. These medications may increase the risk of bleeding Services are ready to assist you. Please call if you have any
during the procedure, so we advise you to avoid them. If you questions or concerns.
need to take something for minor pain, such as a headache,
Tylenol would be acceptable.