A biopsy is typically done under the guidance of either mammogram or ultrasound, and it is done with local anesthesia injected directly into the skin and tissue of the breast. There is very rarely any pain during the procedure, but you may be sore afterward.

A stereotactic biopsy is done for things seen on a mammogram but not on an ultrasound, such as microcalcifications. You will be placed face down on the metal plate with a hole through which your breast will be placed in a mammogram machine. The newer machines have patients in a more comfortable, sitting position. The mammogram guides the doctor as to where to put the needle. An ultrasound-guided biopsy is basically the same thing, but you are usually laying down on your back with an ultrasound probe on your breast.

Once the area to be biopsied is identified by a mammogram or ultrasound, it usually takes less than an hour to get the biopsy tissue samples. These will be sent to the lab and results will be sent to the doctor who ordered the biopsy. You may be sore, but you can go back to work for the rest of the day. If you have bleeding from the needle entrance site or a lot of painful swelling in your breast, call the doctor who performed the biopsy immediately. They may have you call your primary care doctor for further instructions, but a priority is to try contacting the radiologist first for advice. Following up is key in all respects.By Dr. Maria Palafox6/9/2020

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