Breast Biopsy in Egg Harbor Township, NJ
Dr. Anjeanette Brown of The Premier Surgical Network is a board-certified general surgeon with a focus on breast health. She is a member of the Society of Surgical Oncology and the American Society of Breast Surgeons, as well as the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Brown has years of experience performing breast biopsies in Egg Harbor Township and the surrounding areas.
What is a breast biopsy?
Your doctor may perform a breast biopsy if you have certain symptoms or indications that one of your breasts has cancerous tissue. These signs can include a tangible lump, an unusual grouping of cells or tissue seen during a mammogram or ultrasound, or discharge or crust on your nipple area.
A breast biopsy involves extracting tissue from the affected area so additional testing can be done in a laboratory setting. This way, your doctor can determine whether the tissue in question is cancerous or not. Studies show that most biopsies result in benign diagnoses, but it is always best to take preventive measures.
What you should know about breast biopsies
The procedure doesn’t require an overnight stay in the hospital and recovery is usually quick. However, as with any surgery, you should prepare and expect some possible side effects. You might experience swelling and bruising of the breast, bleeding or infection at the site of the incision or injection, or, as a rare occurrence, a misshapen breast.
To help your doctor prepare for your biopsy, mention all medications you have been taking, any known allergies, and whether you have a condition that prevents you from resting on your stomach comfortably. Your biopsy might entail the use of an MRI, so tell your doctor if you have a pacemaker or if you are pregnant.
Unless you are having a surgical biopsy, you likely will not be under anesthesia for the procedure. The area might be numbed, however.
Types of biopsies
The main types of breast biopsies range from less to more invasive. The type your doctor will use depends on several factors, such as the placement of the tissue to be tested and the size of the lump.
A fine-needle aspiration biopsy is the best option if the doctor believes the cyst or lump is fluid-filled. A thin needle suctions out the liquid and cells to enable testing.
A core-needle biopsy removes a more solid mass of tissue with the assistance of a hollow needle. The patient undergoes local anesthesia for this procedure.
An ultrasound-guided breast biopsy means that the radiologist employs imaging equipment to help him or her locate the precise area where the questionable tissue is before inserting the fine or core needle.
Similarly, a stereotactic core biopsy uses an X-ray or mammogram to direct the radiologist to the exact spot. A core needle then removes samples for testing.
A surgical biopsy is the most involved of the biopsy procedures, as it obtains more tissue from the breast. Instead of inserting a needle, the surgeon makes a small incision to take out the lump and nearby tissue, called the margin.
Your tissue sample will be submitted to and examined by a pathologist, a doctor who specializes in the analysis of blood and tissue. Your doctor will share the pathologist’s findings with you a few days after the biopsy. If the sample is deemed benign, or noncancerous, your doctor will consult with both the radiologist and pathologist to confirm their findings agree. If cancerous cells are discovered, the pathology report will also include the type of breast cancer you have. This will help guide your doctor toward the next steps in your treatment plan.
Call our office at (609) 204-5357 to schedule your biopsy.