If we find something concerning (such as a lump or nipple discharge) during your breast exam or mammogram, we may recommend a breast biopsy.
What Is a Breast Biopsy?
A breast biopsy is a procedure where we take a small sample of tissue from the breast and look at the cells under a microscope. The biopsy helps us figure out if cancer cells are present. Most biopsies do not find cancer.
You may be awake or asleep during your biopsy, depending on what kind of biopsy your doctor recommends. For some biopsies, we'll extract the tissue with a needle. For others, a surgeon may make an incision to remove all or part of a lump.
Recovery time from the biopsy depends on the kind of anesthesia we use. If we put you to sleep with general anesthesia, we'll take you to a room and discharge you from there, usually the same day. If you have local anesthesia, you'll be free to go as soon as your provider okays it.
Sore or tender breasts are common after the biopsy. You should hold off on any strenuous exercise for a few days. Over-the-counter pain medication (as recommended by your doctor) and a supportive bra can help.