Breast Needle Biopsy

(Biopsy, Breast Needle; Breast Needle Aspiration; Aspiration, Breast Needle; Fine Needle Aspiration; Aspiration, Fine Needle; Stereotactic Core Needle Biopsy; Biopsy, Stereotactic Core Needle; MRI-guided Breast Biopsy; Biopsy, MRI-guided Breast; Vacuum-assisted Device Biopsy; Biopsy, Vacuum-assisted Device; Ultrasound-directed Needle Biopsy; Biopsy, Ultrasound-directed Needle)

Click here to view an animated version of this procedure.

Definition

Breast needle biopsy is the removal of a sample of breast tissue using a needle. The sample is examined in a lab. There are different types of breast needle biopsies:

Reasons for Procedure

Breast needle biopsy is done to examine a suspicious area in the breast. It may be done if any of the following are found:
  • Lump
  • Tissue thickening
  • Nipple abnormality
  • Discharge from the nipple
  • Abnormal ultrasound or mammogram image
The biopsy can identify the area as either benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

Possible Complications

Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have a biopsy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Bruising
Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

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