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Breast Biopsy

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BREAST BIOPSY DEFINITION

A breast biopsy test is a procedure that takes a small sample of breast tissue for testing at a laboratory. This type of biopsy is the best method available in determining whether or not a suspicious area in your breast is malignant.

BREAST BIOPSY PURPOSE

A breast biopsy is usually done in order to identify abnormalities in the cells based on the analysis done on the sample tissue, particularly when your breasts develop lumps or other out-of-the-ordinary changes. It also determines whether you're in need of extra surgery or other medical treatments as well.

BREAST BIOPSY RISKS

Your breast may swell, bleed, or get infected after biopsy. The biopsy site will particularly be quite sore. Depending on how much tissue is removed, your breast's appearance may also change.

BREAST BIOPSY PREPARATION REQUIRED

BREAST BIOPSY
Image: BREAST BIOPSY
When preparing for a breast biopsy, you need to first tell your doctor if you're allergic to anything, have taken aspirin in the last week, are taking anticoagulants or blood-thinning medications, and are unable to lie on your stomach for a long time. Don't forget to wear a bra for your appointment.

BREAST BIOPSY PROCEDURE

You have the options to do a fine-needle biopsy (a fine needle collects cell samples or fluid from the breast), a core-needle biopsy (a hollow needle removes tissue samples from your breast's mass), stereotactic biopsy (mammograms are used to find the location of the suspicious areas of your breast), ultrasound-guided core needle biopsy (combines ultrasound with the core needle), and surgical biopsy (a portion of the breast mass is removed surgically).

BREAST BIOPSY COMPLICATIONS

The complications associated with breast biopsy include the risk for infection or excessive bleeding, hematoma and edema of the breast, or a change in how the breast looks depending on how much tissue was taken out of it or how well it heals.

BREAST BIOPSY SIDE EFFECTS

Immediate side effects include swelling and bruising of the breast as well as bleeding or bruising at the biopsy site. Long-term side effects include altered appearance of the breast depending on how well it heals or how much tissue was taken for analysis.

BREAST BIOPSY RESULTS

It takes several days before results are available. The pathologist is the one who makes the pathology report regarding the consistency, size, and color of the tissue samples. You should ask your doctor if your radiologist and pathologist agree on the findings to ensure whether breast underwent benign or malignant changes.
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