A breast biopsy removes a small tissue sample from the breast to help diagnose or rule out breast conditions, including breast cancer. Your doctor at Dignity Health may recommend a breast biopsy if there is a lump in your breast or if you had an abnormal screening mammogram.
Dignity Health offers a full spectrum of care for women’s services, including many advanced diagnostic options with breast biopsy in Sacramento and the surrounding areas. Find a Doctor nearby to learn more.
Using state-of-the-art technologies, our experienced doctors may use a number of imaging tests like X-rays, ultrasound, or MRI during a breast biopsy to locate the precise area to sample.
There are many types of breast biopsy:
- Fine needle aspiration biopsy uses a thin needle to withdraw a sample of cells.
- Core needle biopsy uses a larger needle to withdraw a small cylinder — or core — of tissue.
- Vacuum-assisted biopsy uses a probe to withdraw multiple core biopsies through one small incision.
- Incisional biopsy (surgical biopsy) removes a sample of breast tissue through an incision in the skin.
- Excisional biopsy removes an entire area of breast tissue and is the most invasive type of biopsy.
After a breast biopsy, your doctor will send the tissue sample to a pathologist who will look at the tissue and make a diagnosis. If cancer is detected, the biopsy results will guide your treatment.
How to Prepare for a Breast Biopsy
It’s important to take your time and learn about the different types of breast biopsy so you can reduce any anxiety and make the best choice. Before your biopsy, your doctor will explain the affected area on your breast, the results of your breast imaging exams, the type of biopsy you need, and how and when you can get the results. Be sure to ask any questions you have before the exam. We want you to be feel as comfortable as possible.
Recovering From Your Biopsy
Your recovery time depends on the type of breast biopsy you have. For less invasive biopsies, you will likely be back to your normal activities within a day. Surgical biopsies (incisional and excisional) have a longer recovery time. For most breast biopsies, over-the-counter pain medicine and ice packs can help ease pain and reduce swelling.
The results of your breast biopsy will guide your doctor when creating your care plan. If the results are benign (not cancer), no further treatment may be necessary. In other cases, your doctor may recommend additional surgeries or treatments. Rely on our professionals to provide personal care every step of the way. Dignity Health is a trusted resource for many types of diagnostic testing, including breast biopsy, in the Sacramento region.