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What Is a Breast Biopsy?

A breast biopsy is the process of removing a small sample of breast tissue or fluid to test for cancer. The results will indicate if the cells are benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). 

Why Do I Need a Breast Biopsy?

Breast biopsies may be performed to check a lump that was detected during a breast exam. A radiologist may also discover an abnormality during a recent mammogram that requires further inspection.

Just remember that if you’re called in for a follow-up visit or breast biopsy, it does not mean you have cancer. This is a precautionary measure to help identify and diagnose any issues relating to your breast health. And the earlier the detection, the less invasive and more successful the treatment will be.

Types of Breast Biopsies 

Breast biopsies can be performed in either a clinical or surgical setting. The size, location, and other characteristics of the abnormality will determine the type of breast biopsy recommended to you or a loved one. 

At The Breast Center of Maple Grove, we offer minimally invasive, non-surgical interventional breast biopsies that are performed right at our center. This means you will be able to return home after the procedure is complete. Your recovery time will be significantly less than if you received a surgical biopsy. 

Our breast biopsy services include:

  • Stereotactic Biopsy
  • Ultrasound-Guided Biopsy

What Is a Stereotactic Breast Biopsy?

A stereotactic is a needle-guided breast biopsy procedure that uses a special mammography machine to help locate the biopsy site. The machine permits more accuracy of where the abnormality is located. This allows the radiologist and technologist to obtain multiple tissue samples through just one insertion of the needle.

This type of biopsy is also recommended to help evaluate calcifications (i.e., calcium deposits) or tiny masses that are not visible with ultrasound imaging. 

What Is an Ultrasound-Guided Biopsy?

An ultrasound procedure, also known as an image-guided biopsy, uses ultrasound waves to help locate the appropriate location of the abnormality. A fine needle is then inserted into the mass, where it can collect samples for further examination. 

Do Breast Biopsies Hurt?

During your breast biopsy, a local anesthetic is used to help numb the breast before the radiologist uses a needle to remove the tissue sample. 

Unlike a surgical biopsy that requires an actual incision to remove part of the area, such as a lump or cyst, as well as healthy tissue surrounding the location, both a stereotactic and ultrasound-guided biopsy use medical imaging technology to ensure the biopsy needle is placed in the right location—and only a sample of the area is taken from the needle.

And because a needle is inserted to remove minimal tissue, you may experience little to no scarring.

How Long Is the Recovery Time after a Breast Biopsy?

As noted earlier, we offer minimally invasive breast biopsy procedures, which require less recovery time than surgical biopsies. 

You may be permitted to take an Over-the-Counter pain reliever, such as Tylenol for any discomfort. As every person is different, it’s hard to estimate the exact recovery time. On average, you may feel slight soreness or tenderness in your breast 3-5 days after the procedure. Applying an ice pack to the area for the first 24 hours may help reduce any swelling.

After the procedure, you’ll receive helpful instructions to help improve your recovery time and get you back to your favorite activities.

Do I Really Need a Breast Biopsy?

A breast biopsy investigates any irregularities or abnormalities seen in the breast. If your doctor recommends a breast biopsy, it’s essential that you make an appointment sooner, rather than later.

We understand that if you’re about to have this procedure performed, you may feel anxious about the process, or even more nervous about the results. To help you prepare yourself, both physically and emotionally, for an upcoming biopsy, we offer all our patients the one-on-one support of our experienced and compassionate care navigators.

Our care navigators will help you understand your upcoming procedure, next steps, and treatment options. They work to support and empower you from beginning to end. They will even provide a hand to hold throughout the biopsy, if you desire.

To learn more about what to expect during a breast biopsy at our center, please refer to our service page for tips on how to prepare, as well as what your recovery care may entail.

Need to Schedule a Breast Biopsy?

Whether you need a breast biopsy or an annual mammogram, The Breast Center of Maple Grove is here for all of your breast imaging needs. Our center offers a relaxing, comfortable environment paired with state-of-the-art technology. This ensures you receive the support and accurate diagnosis you need to take the next step in your journey to better health. 

We also offer convenient appointments times that fit around your busy schedule, as well as walk-in appointments. 

For questions, or for more information, please call us directly at 763-398-6370, or fill out our online form today. One of our team members will return your message within 24 hours.