Regular checks on your breast health are a great way to catch breast cancer early and treat it more effectively. Two important steps include getting a yearly breast exam with your OB-GYN and a mammogram when recommended. If your provider sees an irregular result from a mammogram, they may order more imaging and a breast biopsy.

A breast biopsy takes a sample of your breast tissue and tests it for cancer. The breast biopsy results help your provider create your personalized treatment plan. Most breast biopsy results come back negative: 80 percent of people who get a breast biopsy don’t have breast cancer.

At Baptist Health, you can expect a breast biopsy experience that is:

  • High-quality. Our imaging technology produces detailed images that providers rely on to form an accurate diagnosis. High-quality images lead to high-quality care.
  • Convenient. Choose from one of our many locations close to where you live.
  • Friendly. Our team can answer all your questions so you know what to expect. Board-certified radiologists and technologists guide you through the process and prioritize your comfort, safety and positive experience.

What is a breast biopsy?

A breast biopsy, also called a core biopsy, tests a sample of breast tissue for cancer. Once you’ve received local anesthesia to numb the area, a technologist uses imaging to identify the abnormal tissue. They then insert a special needle to take a small sample of breast tissue, making it a minimally invasive alternative to a surgical biopsy.

There are three types of breast biopsy at Baptist Health; each uses a different kind of imaging. The biopsy your provider recommends will depend on the type of imaging you’ve done so far and your risk factors.

  • Stereotactic breast biopsy: This experience is similar to getting a mammogram. You will place your breast through an opening in a specialized machine. The technologist will use X-rays to locate the abnormal spot in your breast.
  • Ultrasound breast biopsy: This approach is like having an ultrasound of your breast. You will lie on a table on your back with your arm up. A technologist uses ultrasound waves to find the abnormal spot.
  • MRI breast biopsy: This method is similar to getting an MRI test and provides the greatest detail. You will lie face down on a table and place your breast through an opening. The MRI machine uses large magnets and radio waves to take images of your breast.

Once the technologist has located the abnormal tissue in your breast and numbed the area, they remove a sample for further testing.

What can I expect at my breast biopsy appointment?

While the biopsy may only take 10 to 30 minutes, plan to clear two hours for your entire appointment. It will include conversations about your health history, what to expect during the biopsy and aftercare instructions. Here’s what you can generally expect at your breast biopsy appointment.

  • Before you get your breast biopsy, you’ll receive instructions on how to prepare. You will need to stop taking anticoagulant medications or vitamins five days before your appointment. These medications include aspirin, naproxen (Aleve), ibuprofen and multivitamins. You can eat and drink normally before your biopsy.

    Consider showering beforehand, as you should avoid showering for 24 hours after your procedure. We recommend wearing a loose-fitting shirt and supportive bra, as they provide comfort and help minimize bleeding. Plan to arrive early to your appointment to fill out paperwork.

  • Depending on the type of imaging used to guide your breast biopsy, your technologist will give you directions on how to position yourself. For a stereotactic-guided biopsy, you’ll sit in a chair and place your breast through an opening. You’ll lie down on your back for an ultrasound-guided biopsy. If you’re getting an MRI-guided biopsy, you’ll lie face down and place your breast through an opening.

    The technologist will then use imaging to locate the spot they want to test. For your comfort, the technologist will inject local anesthesia to numb your breast and minimize pain. Once you are numb, they will insert a special needle with vacuum suction to take a sample of your breast tissue. As they remove the needle, they’ll also drop a very small stainless-steel marker to tag the area. This marker helps them locate the area sampled in the future.

  • After your breast biopsy, the team will bandage and ice the area for you. Your incision will be about the width of a pinkie fingernail and won’t need stitches. Instead, you’ll have thin strips of tape to secure the cut while you heal. You can remove them three days after your biopsy.

    You’ll get dressed and go home that day. Wait to shower until 24 hours later. Plan to avoid strenuous activity or lifting for the first two days. After that, you should be able to resume normal activities. You can manage any swelling, pain or discomfort with ice and an over-the-counter pain reliever like Tylenol. Any lingering soreness usually resolves in a week.

    The team will follow up with a call to see how you’re healing and how you’re feeling. You can expect a call from the radiologist with your results in about a week. You can see them at the same time through The Baptist Health PineApp.

What are the risks or side effects of a breast biopsy?

Your Baptist Health team will do everything possible to ensure you have a comfortable and safe breast biopsy. We sterilize all tools, and the team uses a minimally invasive approach to limit potential complications.

Some possible risks or side effects of a breast biopsy include:

  • Bruising
  • Hematoma (pooled blood)
  • Implant rupture (for people with breast implants)
  • Infection
  • Swelling

How do I get a breast biopsy?

You’ll need a prescription from your provider to get a breast biopsy. Once your provider gives you a prescription, you can call Baptist Health Imaging to schedule your appointment.

How much does a breast biopsy cost?

The cost of your breast biopsy will depend on your insurance. After your provider prescribes a breast biopsy, our Preregistration and Authorization Department will confirm the price with you.

If your insurance does not cover your breast biopsy, you can choose to self-pay. Our Central Pricing Office will work with you to arrange your payment schedule.

Schedule Your Breast Biopsy Today.

We have diagnostic imaging locations from Palm Beach to Monroe County.

Baptist Health is here to support you through every stage of your health journey, beginning with getting your breast biopsy at any of our diagnostic imaging locations. Online appointment scheduling is available for a breast biopsy. Select a convenient location on the map to schedule.

Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Biopsy

  • A breast biopsy can take 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the type of imaging used to guide the process. However, plan for about two hours for your entire appointment, including time for conversations about health history, what to expect and aftercare instructions.

  • Plan to wear a loose shirt and supportive bra, as it provides comfort and can help minimize bleeding.

  • A radiologist will call you with your results about a week after your biopsy. You can also see your results on the PineApp. Baptist Health’s app helps you easily manage your healthcare — including test results — from any mobile device.

  • A breast biopsy may cause discomfort or pain, but the team at Baptist Health will do everything we can to minimize it. If you’re getting a stereotactic biopsy (also called mammogram-guided biopsy), you may feel discomfort during the mammogram imaging, which compresses the breast. Before the biopsy, your technologist will inject local anesthesia to numb the area in question. During the injection, you may feel a small pinch from the anesthesia needle. Your breast will be numb by the time the technologist inserts the biopsy needle and removes the sample tissue.

Proven Quality

Proven Quality

Baptist Health imaging produces clear, high-quality images your provider can use to diagnose and treat you accurately. We are accredited by the American College of Radiology, so our medical imaging staff have the needed experience and qualifications.

Schedule Your Breast Biopsy Today.

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