This involves taking a small sample of tissue (cells) through a needle. The needle is guided into place using ultrasound.
The sample is sent to a pathology laboratory where the specimen is later analysed. Results are usually available in 1 or 2 days. The report will be sent to your referring doctor who will then convey these results to you.
The pathology company may also charge a gap for these services. Please discuss this with us if you have any questions.
Is any preparation required?
It is essential that your previous mammogram and ultrasound films are available at the time of the biopsy. Please bring these with you to your examination.
Please inform us if you are on medication to thin your blood (eg. Warfarin, Aspirin or Clopidogrel) at the time of booking. These may need to be stopped for certain procedures.
No other specific preparation is required and you may eat and drink before and after the procedure. If you are on any special drugs or have diabetes and are on insulin, take your usual medicines and diet.
What happens during the procedure?
You will be positioned on the ultrasound table in the best way to access the area to be biopsied. Your skin and a covered ultrasound probe will be cleaned with antiseptic. The radiologist, together with the sonographer, will use ultrasound to guide a fine needle into the correct area. Commonly up to 3 needle passes may be required to obtain an adequate sample. Sometimes it is necessary to proceed to a larger needle. The radiologist will discuss this with you if thought necessary.
Are there any risks or side effects?
Potential risks include infection and bleeding.
- Aseptic technique is used to minimise the risk of infection as much as possible.
- There may be some mild bruising at the site.
- Bleeding in the area may cause it to swell up, which should subside naturally over the course of a few days
- Rarely excessive bleeding can occur and may require drainage.
The biopsy may not obtain an adequate sample of tissue. This may require a repeat biopsy.
After the biopsy
You may eat and drink immediately after the procedure.
You may remove your dressing/band aid that night or the next day.
You should avoid strenuous activity for 24 hours following the biopsy.
You may experience some discomfort following the procedure.
- If required, a simple analgesic such as paracetamol (Panadol), NOT Aspirin, should be sufficient.
- A small ice pack applied to the area may help settle any pain.
Infection and bleeding are potential complications.
- If you notice any increasing redness, swelling, fever or pain
→ notify your referring doctor or call the clinic where the injection was performed immediately.
If you have not been contacted about your results in 1 to 2 weeks please contact your referrer.