What Should You Expect During a Breast Biopsy?

Finding a lump on your breast is nerve-wracking for anyone. Fortunately, lumps don’t always spell trouble. Approximately eight out of ten breast lumps turn out to benign. Even so, it pays to get all unusual findings, whether from a self-exam or a mammogram, checked out by a medical professional. Usually, a simple biopsy is all that is needed to rule out cancer. If you’re nervous about an upcoming biopsy, or just curious about the procedure, here’s some information to put your mind at ease.

Question: How do I prepare for a breast biopsy?

Answer: Since most biopsies are done using just local anesthesia, very little preparation is needed. Before the procedure, you can go about your day-to-day activities as you normally would. We recommend wearing a skirt or slacks, instead of a dress. This will keep you from getting fully undressed before the procedure, though we can provide a gown if you need one.

Question: Will it hurt?

Answer: The local anesthesia will make the affected area of your breast numb. You shouldn’t be able to feel a thing during the biopsy. Injecting the anesthesia, however, does require a needle, and it will sting a little bit. Depending on how much tissue we sample during the biopsy, your breast may be sore for a couple of days after the anesthesia wears off.

Question: Will it leave a scar?

Answer: Probably not. And, if so, it will be a very tiny scar. Many breast biopsies only require the use of a thin needle to pull out the tissue needed, which will not leave any scar, at all. If we have to make an incision for a larger needle, the incision will be very short. You won’t even need stitches. A simple butterfly bandage is more than enough to keep your incision closed and clean. We will also send you with an ice pack to keep bruising to a minimum.

Question: How long will it take to get my breast biopsy results?

Answer: About two business days. Southtowns Radiology will forward the results to your physician, who will then talk to you about the results. If we can’t get in touch with your doctor, we will send the results directly to you.

Question: Where can I get a breast biopsy done?

Answer:  You can visit us in our Orchard Park office location for a biopsy. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.