Breast Needle Biopsy Care

Learn what care is required for the Breast Needle Biopsy procedure. Find out what you need to do prior to the procedure, how long it will take, if you will be required to stay in the hospital and what the postoperative care is.

Breast Needle Biopsy Details

Alternate Names for Breast Needle Biopsy:
Aspiration, breast needle
Biopdy, large core needle
Biopsy, breast needle
Breast needle aspiration
Large core needle biopsy

What to Expect Prior to Procedure

Your doctor may do the following:

  • Physical exam, especially a breast exam
  • Blood tests
  • Mammogram and/or breast ultrasound

Leading up to the biopsy:

  • Talk to your doctor about your current medicines. Certain medicines may need to be stopped before the procedure, such as:
    • Aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs for up to one week before surgery
    • Blood-thinning drugs, such as clopidogrel (Plavix) or warfarin (Coumadin)
  • The night before, eat a light meal. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight if you are having general anesthesia.
  • Shower the morning of the biopsy. You may be asked to use a special antibacterial soap.


This depends on the type of biopsy that you are having, for example:

  • Local anesthesia-Only the area that is being operated on is numbed.
  • General anesthesia -Blocks pain and keeps you asleep through the biopsy; given through an IV (needle in your vein) in your hand or arm.

Description of the Procedure

There are different breast needle biopsy techniques that your doctor can use to remove the tissue sample:

Needle Aspiration

The skin over the area will be cleaned. The doctor may inject a local anesthetic. Next, the biopsy needle will be inserted into the breast tissue. Fluid and/or tissue will be removed. The needle may be removed and re-inserted several times. This will be done to get samples from different locations. After this is done, the doctor will apply pressure to the area and cover the spot with a bandage.

Stereotactic Biopsy Large Core Needle Biopsy or Vacuum-assisted Device Biopsy

You will be given sedation. You will also be given either general or local anesthesia. The doctor will have you lie on your stomach on a special table. The table will have an opening for your breast. X-ray images will be taken from different angles to locate the mass.

If you will have a large core needle biopsy , the doctor will insert a wire into the mass. A large needle used to remove the tissue will be threaded over this wire. A cylinder of breast tissue will be removed. If more samples are needed, the doctor may need to insert the wire and needle again to obtain them.

If you are having a vacuum-assisted device biopsy , the doctor will use pressure from a vacuum to pull tissue from the mass through a needle and into a sampling chamber. This allows the doctor to collect multiple tissue samples during one needle insertion.

How Long Will It Take?

1-3 hours

Will It Hurt?

There will be slight pain in your breast after the biopsy. Your doctor may prescribe pain medicine.

Post-procedure Care At Home

When you return home after the procedure, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:

  • Take pain medicine as directed by your doctor.
  • To relieve discomfort, apply a warm compress or a heating pad to the area.
  • Wear a supportive bra.
  • Ask your doctor when you should change the bandages.
  • Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions .

It will take about 2-5 days to receive your test results.


Learn what Breast Needle Biopsy is
What Is
Learn what the procedure is. Find out how it is performed.
Reasons For Breast Needle Biopsy
Reasons For
Find out why and when this procedure should be done.
Breast Needle Biopsy Complications
Learn about possible complications and what might increase the risk of them.
Breast Needle Biopsy Details
What to Expect
Find out how long it will take, what they will be doing and what to expect afterwards.
Breast Needle Biopsy Results
What are the next steps and other possible tests needed after you have received the results.
When to Contact Doctor about Breast Needle Biopsy
Call Your Doctor
What to look out for and when to call your doctor after a procedure has been done.

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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright ©2014 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved. Source: EBSCO