CORE BIOPSY OF THE BREAST

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1 CORE BIOPSY OF THE BREAST Information Leaflet Your Health. Our Priority.

2 Page 2 of 5 What is a core biopsy of the breast? A core biopsy is a method of taking a small specimen of tissue from the breast. It is a method which avoids a surgical operation. This tissue can then be examined under a microscope. If you have any queries or concerns about having a biopsy please contact the Breast Care Nurses on About the procedure Who will I see when I have my core biopsy? In some breast clinics, the surgeon will do most of the core biopsies, especially if a definite lump can be felt. When an abnormal area is seen only on mammograms or ultrasound, it is likely that the Radiologist or Radiographer will do the biopsy. Are there any special preparations for a core biopsy? No, but you might like to wash your breasts before coming to the clinic in case you have to have a biopsy. You may be in the X-Ray department for up to 1 hour. If you wish to bring a family member/ friend with you then this is ok. We recommend that you do not wear jewellery as we may have to ask you to remove this during your examination. If you are taking tablets to thin the blood (anticoagulants, like Aspirin or Warfarin), you should tell the Doctor or Radiographer. You should also let them know if you are allergic to injections of local anaesthetic- these are commonly used at the dentists. Needle procedures of this kind require the patient s consent. During the procedure The choice of procedure depends on whether the abnormal area can be felt or whether it can only be seen on ultrasound or mammograms. If a definite lump can be felt, the skin over the lump will be numbed by local anaesthetic, which may sting briefly. A small nick may be made in the skin to assist in placing the biopsy needle close to the lump. The needle is generally attached to a small device, or gun, which quickly fires the needle into the lump with a clicking noise and takes a narrow tubular core of tissue from it. The needle is then withdrawn from the breast and the specimen removed from it. The process may be repeated. If the abnormal area can only be seen on ultrasound the Radiologist needs to use the ultrasound probe at the same time to make sure that the correct area is sampled. The same procedure is followed except that in addition the ultrasound probe is used.

3 Page 3 of 5 If the abnormal area can only be seen on the mammograms then the procedure needs the x-ray machine to help guide the needle. This is called a stereotactic guided biopsy. For this the breast needs to be compressed in exactly the same way as for a mammogram, but for a longer period of time while the needle is put into the breast. If the doctor can feel the abnormal area the biopsy will take a few minutes. It will not take much longer with ultrasound guidance. It may take 15 or 20 minutes if it is necessary to use the mammography machine. Will the core biopsy hurt? You will feel some stinging as the local anaesthetic goes in, but the area soon goes numb. During the actual biopsy, you will probably only notice the loud clicking of the biopsy gun. If there is bruising and a swelling (haematoma) forms afterwards this may be uncomfortable for a day or two. After the procedure Firm pressure will be applied to the area for several minutes to stop any bleeding and reduce bruising. A dressing will be applied over the area. This may be removed after 24 hours. If the biopsy site should bleed after the test, cover with a clean dressing and apply firm pressure until the bleeding stops. If the wound becomes red and sore in the days following the biopsy, it might have become infected. Please consult your GP. You may develop a small scar. You are likely to experience some bruising over the area that has been sampled. This is normal and will disappear in time. If you experience any discomfort, normal pain relievers such as paracetamol may be taken. You should not take aspirin as this may increase bruising. You will be able to resume your usual activities following the biopsy. Results You will be told when and where you will receive your results before you leave the department after the examination. Risks A breast biopsy is a safe and common procedure. Unfortunately, like any procedure there is always the risk that a complication may develop.

4 Page 4 of 5 Occasionally there may be some bleeding inside the breast and a bruise or swelling (haematoma) will form. Occasionally, there may be an allergic reaction to local anaesthetic, in which case you may be given medication to counteract this. If the wound becomes red and sore in the days following the biopsy, it might have become infected. Please consult your GP. Care must also be taken that the needle does not pass beyond the breast and through the chest wall (especial care must be taken if the lump is at the back of a small breast). Very rarely the biopsy could cause a small collapse of the lung. If you experience any unusual shortness of breath or chest pain you need to go immediately to your nearest Emergency Department. Benefits This test gives the doctors a diagnosis so that they can plan your treatment Alternatives Without this biopsy an operation would be necessary to find out what is happening inside your breast. Contact us X-Ray Department Breast Care Nurses If you need any assistance with transport to the hospital please contact your GP. For visually impaired patients we have sighted guides in the main reception of the hospital.

5 Page 5 of 5 If you would like this leaflet in a different format, for example, in large print, or on audiotape, or for people with learning disabilities, please contact: Patient and Customer Services, Poplar Suite, Stepping Hill Hospital. Tel: Information Leaflet. Our smoke free policy Smoking is not allowed anywhere on our sites. Please read our leaflet 'Policy on Smoke Free NHS Premises' to find out more. Leaflet number RAD34 Publication date October 2014 Review date October 2016 Department Radiology, X-Ray B Location Stepping Hill Hospital

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