Ultrasound-guided breast biopsy removes tiny samples of breast tissue through a needle for microscopic evaluation. The procedure can be performed when a solid mass is seen clearly with ultrasound. The radiologist uses ultrasound to guide a needle into the breast to obtain tissue samples.
Though ultrasound-guided breast biopsy works well for nearly all patients, there are some cases in which a traditional surgical biopsy may be preferable.
During the Procedure
An ultrasound-guided biopsy usually takes about 60-90 minutes. The skin is cleansed and the radiologist numbs the area with a local anesthetic.
A small skin incision (approximately 3-4 mm) is made, a needle is advanced into the breast, and several small tissue samples are removed.
A tiny clip may be inserted though the needle to mark the site so that, if necessary, it can be easily located in the future. Immediately following the procedure, a nurse applies pressure to the area for a short time and then covers the site with a small dressing.
Please do not perform vigorous activity (e.g., aerobic exercise, climbing, vacuuming) for the rest of the day and do not shower for the next 24 hours. You may experience some discomfort and minimal bruising.
After the Procedure/Getting Your Results
The small incision where the needle entered the skin, and any bruising, usually disappear within a few weeks. Tissue samples will be sent to the lab for further evaluation by a pathologist.
Your procedure results will be available from your doctor in approximately 2-3 business days. Many biopsy samples are benign and do not need any more testing or treatment.