Needle Biopsy Prep

Your breast imaging studies revealed the need for a biopsy. Most biopsies involved insertion of a needle into the area of concern to withdraw some tissue that will be sent to the lab for examination. Needle biopsies are generally performed quickly and with minimal pain. This is an outpatient procedure and in many cases can replace the need for a surgical biopsy.

Before your needle biopsy

  • Do not take aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications like Motrin®, Advil®, Aleve® or ibuprofen for five days before the procedure.
  • The biopsy may not be able to be done if you have certain medical conditions or are on medication that causes bleeding.

The morning of the biopsy

  • Have a light breakfast and take your regular medications.
  • When you arrive, you will be asked to change into a gown.
  • The nurse, technologist or radiologist will explain the biopsy procedure and answer all of your questions.

For a stereotactic guided biopsy done only at UMCP Breast Health Center (609.497.4040)

  • The technologist will help you lie on your stomach with your breast position through an opening in the biopsy table. It is very important to lie still.
  • Your breast will be positioned, and light compression will be applied.
  • The technologist will take low dose mammograms to accurately locate the abnormality.
  • The radiologist will cleanse your skin.
  • After giving you a local anesthetic and making a small cut in your skin (no stitches are needed), the radiologist will take with a biopsy needle several small samples of breast tissue from the area of concern.
  • A small marking device or clip may be left to localize the site in the breast.

For ultrasound guided biopsy

  • You will lie on your back while the technologist takes images of the area that will be sampled.
  • The radiologist will cleanse your skin.
  • After giving you a local anesthetic and making a small cut in your skin, the radiologist will take with a biopsy needle several small pieces of the breast tissue from the area of concern.
  • A small marking device or clip may be left to localize the site in the breast.

Once the procedure is completed

  • Pressure and an ice pack will be applied to the breast to stop the bleeding.
  • A post procedure mammogram is often performed with light pressure.
  • The radiologist will explain your follow-up instructions.
  • When you feel comfortable, you may leave and resume normal activities including driving.
  • You should not do any heavy lifting or upper arm exercise for 24 hours after the procedure.

The results of the biopsy are usually available in three to five working days. The results are reviewed by the radiologist and will be communicated to you by your referring physician.

For scheduling the biopsy, please call 609.655.1448. Your referring physician will also be contacted by the radiologist in order to obtain a referral for the procedure. Please consult with your referring physician prior to scheduling this procedure.

Activity

  • After the needle biopsy, you may go back to your regular work or activity schedule if you feel well.
  • Do not do any heavy lifting or upper arm exercise for the next 24 hours.

Pain

  • The local anesthesia you receive will wear off in one to two hours.
  • Use Tylenol® or extra strength Tylenol® every four to six hours as needed for pain.
  • Do not take aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications like Motrin®, Advil®, Aleve® or ibuprofen for the next 24 hours.
  • You may wear a bra to bed for support for the first night. This is optional.
  • An ice pack is helpful for the first 24 hours. Apply it to the area for 20 minute periods as needed.
  • Warm compresses may be applied to the breast after the first 24 hours to help relieve any persistent discomfort.

Symptoms

  • You may notice some bruising or firmness in the area of the biopsy. This usually gets better in seven to ten days, but in some cases it could take several weeks to get back to normal.
  • If you notice any bleeding, excessive swelling or signs of possible infection like redness, drainage or fever, call your referring physician.

Wound care

  • We have placed a small tape-like material call “Steri-Strip” over the skin opening.
  • Keep this area clean and dry for the first 24 hours.
  • After the first 24 hours you may shower v.ith the Steri-Strip in place.
  • Avoid submerging the wound in the bathtub, pool, Jacuzzi®, etc. for two days.
  • A small scar may remain in the area of the incision.
  • The Steri-Strip should stay on for at least two days. They will fall off on their own after several days. If they have not come off after seven days, you may gently remove them.
  • The outer gauze bandage protects your clothing in case of oozing from the incision. Reapply a clean dressing as needed.

Results

  • The results of the biopsy are usually available in three to five working days. The results are reviewed by the radiologist and will be communicated to you by your referring physician.

Questions

  • If you have any questions regarding the biopsy, please call 609.655.1448.
  • For emergencies after office hours or on weekends, please call 609.497.4316 and ask to speak with the on-call radiologist.