A breast biopsy can be a lifesaving procedure for both women and men. An unusual growth in one or both breasts can be found during a routine self-breast examination, an annual physical, or a radiology procedure. Reasons for why people need to have breast biopsies include finding a palpable lump, experiencing unexplained discharge from a nipple, evaluating a mass or calcium deposit identified on a mammogram, and the concern to determine if an abnormality is benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
For a breast biopsy, you’ll be referred to a Victorville or Glendora General Surgeon. The surgeon will analyze your records and recommend the most appropriate biopsy method for your personal case. Most biopsies are done in the surgeon’s office or an outpatient clinic, but an open surgical biopsy is performed at a hospital.
Types of Breast Biopsies
Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy (FNAB):
FNAB is non-invasive, lasts for about 20 minutes, and requires no incisions. The surgeon inserts an extremely fine needle into the biopsy area and uses a small syringe to remove a sample of fluid, tissue, or a group of cells from a firm lump.
Core Needle Biopsy (CNB):
CNB is non-invasive, takes between 20 to 60 minutes, and requires no incisions. The surgeon uses a hollow needle, slightly larger than the FNAB needle, to remove several small samples of solid tissue. To reduce bleeding and bruising after a CNB, the biopsy area is firmly pressed for a few minutes and then covered with a dressing.
Vacuum Assisted Biopsy (VAB):
VAB is non-invasive, takes less than one hour, and requires no incisions. The surgeon makes a tiny cut in the biopsy area and inserts a hollow probe. The probe has a hole in its side where sample tissues are vacuumed, or sucked, in as the surgeon rotates the probe. There is minimal or no scarring from a VAB.
This procedure requires a 1 to 2-inch incision, takes about one hour, and requires stitches that will either be moved ten days later in the surgeon’s office or will dissolve. The surgeon uses special instruments to remove all or part of a lump. There will be some swelling and bleeding after the procedure that will rapidly heal.