During a breast biopsy, a doctor removes a small tissue sample from the breast. A biopsy can diagnose or rule out breast conditions, including breast cancer. Your doctor may recommend a breast biopsy if you had an abnormal screening mammogram or if there is a lump in your breast.
Call (702) 616-4900 or use our online tool to find a Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican hospitals doctor who performs breast biopsy in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV. As part of our ongoing commitment to supporting women’s health, we provide a variety of wellness classes and support groups. Register for a class today.
Types of Breast Cancer Biopsy
Doctors may use MRI, ultrasound, and X-rays during a breast biopsy to precisely locate the area to sample. There are several ways to perform a breast biopsy:
- Core needle biopsy uses a needle to withdraw a small cylinder of tissue.
- Fine needle aspiration biopsy uses a thinner needle to withdraw a sample of cells.
- Incisional biopsy is a surgical biopsy that removes a sample of breast tissue through an incision in the skin.
- Vacuum-assisted biopsy uses a probe to take multiple core biopsies through a single, small incision.
- Excisional biopsy removes an entire area of breast tissue. It is the most invasive type of biopsy and usually involves removing a margin of healthy tissue around the suspicious area.
After a breast biopsy, a pathologist will process the tissue and make a diagnosis. If cancer is detected, the biopsy results will help you and your doctor decide on a treatment plan that is right for you.
Preparing for a Breast Biopsy Procedure
It’s important to learn about your different biopsy options so you can make the best decision. Before having a breast biopsy, your doctor will explain:
- The specific area on your breast that will be biopsied to help you visualize it.
- The results of previous breast imaging exams, including mammograms.
- The type of biopsy you need. A less invasive technique could be an option. Needle biopsies are appropriate about 90 percent of the time.
- How and when you will get the results. In most cases, expect a few days to a week before your results are ready.
As with any procedure, a breast biopsy has risks and possible complications including:
- Swelling or bruising
- Changes in breast appearance or size
- Reactions to anesthesia
Breast Biopsy Recovery
Recovery time depends on the type of breast biopsy. For less invasive biopsies, you should be back to normal activities within 24 hours. Surgical biopsies have a longer recovery.
For most breast biopsies, ice packs and over-the-counter pain medicine can help reduce swelling and ease pain. Call your doctor if your pain changes or gets worse in any way. It could be a sign of infection or other complication.
Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican hospitals offers of range of women’s health services, including breast biopsy, in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.