Breast Biopsy

Overview

A breast biopsy is a diagnostic procedure during which a small sample of breast tissue is removed and examined for abnormalities. Breast biopsies are performed to investigate suspicious lumps or growths, abnormal mammogram results, or other changes in the breast.

Breast Biopsy

Several breast biopsy procedures include:

  • A needle biopsy (fine needle aspiration, core needle biopsy).
  • A surgical biopsy (excisional biopsy).
  • An image-guided biopsy.

The procedure used will depend on the size, location, and nature of the investigated abnormality.

Most breast biopsies are outpatient procedures performed in a doctor’s office or outpatient clinic. The procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia, though some types of biopsy may require general anesthesia.

The average breast biopsy takes less than an hour to complete. Recovery times vary depending on the procedure performed but are typically short, with most people able to return to their normal activities within a day or two.

A few risks are associated with breast biopsy, though they are generally rare. These risks include infection, bleeding, and changes in breast appearance (such as scars or dimpling). Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of breast biopsy with you before the procedure is performed.

If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, your doctor will recommend additional treatment after your biopsies, such as surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy to cure cancer.

Type of Breast Biopsy

One type of breast biopsy is called a needle biopsy. During this procedure, your doctor inserts a special needle through your skin and your breast tissue to remove a small amount of tissue. A pathologist then examines the tissue under a microscope to look for abnormal cells.

There are two needle biopsies: 

1) Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) 

2)Core needle biopsy (CNB).

Fine-needle aspiration is usually done under local anesthesia, which numbs the area around the biopsy site. Your doctor will insert a very thin needle into your breast and withdraw (aspirate) a small amount of fluid or tissue. This procedure is often used to check for cysts, which are fluid-filled sacs that are usually benign.

Core needle biopsy is also done under local anesthesia. Your doctor will insert a larger needle into your breast and remove a small cylinder of tissue (core). This type of biopsy provides more tissue for the pathologist to examine than an FNA.

Another type of breast biopsy is called a surgical (open) biopsy. The surgeon will make an incision to remove all or part of the suspicious area during this procedure. A pathologist then examines the obtained tissue under a microscope to look for abnormal cells. 

There are two types of surgical biopsies:

    • Excisional biopsy 
    • Incisional biopsy

    An excisional biopsy is also called a lumpectomy or breast-conserving surgery. This type of biopsy removes the entire suspicious area of your breast, whereas incisional biopsy removes only a part of the suspicious area.

    Which type of biopsy is right for you will depend on several factors, including the size and location of the suspicious area and your personal preferences. Your doctor will discuss all of your options with you and help you decide which type of biopsy is best for you.

    What to Expect During a Breast Biopsy

    Most breast biopsies are done on an outpatient basis, which means you can go home the same day as the procedure. The specific steps involved in your procedure will depend on the type of biopsy.

    In general, here is what you can expect:

    • You will be asked to put on a hospital gown.
    • An IV line will be inserted into your arm to administer medication through your veins during the procedure.
    • You will be positioned on the examination table, lying on your back with your arm raised.
    • A local anesthetic will be injected into your breast to numb the area. 
    • The area around the biopsy site will be cleansed with an antiseptic solution.
    • A small, thin needle (FNA) or larger needle (CNB) will be inserted into your breast. 
    • The needle will be guided into the suspicious area using imaging techniques such as ultrasound, mammography, or MRI.
    • A small amount of tissue or fluid will be removed and sent to a laboratory for analysis.
    • For an open biopsy, your surgeon will make an incision in your skin and remove the affected tissue area. The incision will usually be about 1-2 inches long.
    • The area around the biopsy site will be cleaned and closed with stitches. A sterile bandage or dressing will be applied to help keep the area clean and protected.
    • After this, you will be transferred to a recovery room, where you will be kept under observation. You will then be allowed to go home.

    What to Expect After a Breast Biopsy?

    After a breast biopsy, most women experience symptoms like soreness, bruising, and swelling that resolve within a few days. 

    If you had an open biopsy, you might observe fluid accumulation or outburst from the incision site for the first day or two. Be sure to follow your surgeon’s instructions for caring for the incision site.

    You should avoid strenuous activity, lifting heavy objects, or straining until your surgeon says it is okay. Strenuous activity can cause bleeding and increase swelling.

    It is important to keep a follow-up with your surgeon. Your surgeon will let you know when to return for a check-up.

    Call your doctor if you develop a fever, chills, or the incision site drains pus or becomes red, swollen, or painful, as these could be the signs of developing an infection.

    Risks and Complications

    A breast biopsy is generally a safe procedure. However, as with any medical procedure, risks and potential complications are associated with a breast biopsy. These include:

    • Bleeding
    • Infection
    • Hematoma (pooling of blood outside of the blood vessels)
    • Seroma (a collection of clear fluid outside of the blood vessels)
    • Changes in sensation in the nipple or skin around the biopsy site
    • Scarring
    • Asymmetry (a difference in the size or shape of the breasts)
    • Rupture of a breast implant (if you have implants)

    When to Call the Doctor

    Call your doctor if you experience any of the following after a breast biopsy:

    • Fever or chills
    • Redness, pain, or drainage of pus or fluid from the incision site
    • Swelling, bruising or bleeding that persists or worsens
    • Numbness, tingling, or changes in sensation in the nipple or skin around the biopsy site

    If you develop any new symptoms, such as a lump in your breast, pain in your breast, or changes in the appearance of your breast, be sure to call your doctor right away. These could be signs of a complication or another underlying condition.

    You can book an appointment with our experts to know more about such topics.

    Breast Cancer
    Treatments

    PROFILE

    About Dr. Jay Rashmi Anam

    Dr Jay Anam is one of the best surgical oncologists in India. With an expertise as a breast cancer surgeon, he believes in world class cancer care for all the patients.

    Dr. Jay Anam focuses on Breast Oncology, and his scope of work includes:

    Expertise
    • Breast Cancer surgeries, including Mastectomy, Breast Conservation Surgery, Aesthetic and Cosmetic Breast reconstruction–Oncoplasty to retain breast shape and size during the treatment of breast cancer.
    • Sentinel Node Biopsy to limit the extent of the node dissection in early breast cancers.
    • Sono-Guided and Wire- localized Breast Surgeries for screen-detected Breast Cancers.
    • Flap reconstructions for advanced Breast Cancers.
    • Aesthetic Breast Surgery for benign breast tumours.

    Patient Treated By Dr. Jay Anam

    People heavily rely on reviews from other patients when choosing a healthcare provider

    Dr. Jay Anam is a warm, kind, sympathetic, and brilliant doctor who handles his patients with dignity and respect, in my opinion. He has an incredible talent for motivating his patients and inspiring them to give more than 100% confidence. "Ruma, enjoy this voyage and you will be OK!" he said, and I still remember his words. These words have struck a chord in my heart throughout my wellness voyage, and I am a warrior. Dr. Jay Anam comes across as a terrific friend, and he makes you feel at ease throughout the procedure as if you've known him for years. He is forthcoming and available 24/7 for any queries.

    Ruma Chatterjee

    Our Patients

    I got operated in Nov 2021. The word cancer can be so daunting and brings loads of stress in a patient's life. But i was fortunate that I met the right surgeon - Dr Jay Anam, post meeting him was relaxed and knew I am in safe hands. He explained the surgery in minute detail and patiently answered all my queries. Post surgery outcome was also discussed and nothing was left to guessing. He was on time for the surgery and i have to admit that the cuts and scars are minimal and it was a very clean n neatly done job. Post surgery he was always available on phone for any issue I faced. Post surgery follow up visit was also handled professionally.

    Priya Shah

    Our Patients

      Contact the breast cancer treatment center in Mumbai today. Schedule a consultation!




      Patient Knowledge Center -Blogs, Videos and FAQs

      Blogs

      Videos

      You are stronger than you think!

      If you or someone you know has breast cancer or breast issues, get in touch with Mumbai best breast surgeon.