This involves taking a small sample of tissue (cells) through a needle. The needle is guided into place using ultrasound.
The sample is sent to a pathology laboratory where it is analysed. Results are usually available in 1 or 2 days. The report will be sent to your referring doctor who will give these results to you.
The pathology company may charge a gap for these services. Please discuss this with us if you have any questions.
You will be positioned on the ultrasound table in the best way to access the area to be biopsied. Antiseptic will be used to clean your skin and the covered ultrasound probe. The radiologist and sonographer will use ultrasound to guide a fine needle into the correct area. Sometimes, up to 3 needle passes may be needed to obtain an adequate sample. It is sometimes necessary to proceed to a larger needle, and the radiologist will discuss this with you.
Before your Scan
Please tell us if you are on medication to thin your blood (e.g. Warfarin, Aspirin or Clopidogrel) at the time of booking. These may need to be stopped for certain procedures.
You may eat and drink before and after the procedure as normal. If you are on any regular medication, or have diabetes and are on insulin, take your usual medicines and diet.
It is essential that your previous mammogram and ultrasound films are available at the time of the biopsy. Please bring these with you.
Risks / Side Effects
Potential risks include:
- Infection at the needle site. An aseptic technique (strict infection control practices) is used to minimise the risk of infection.
- Bleeding: mild bleeding in the area may cause it to swell, which should subside naturally over the course of a few days. Rarely, excessive bleeding can occur and may require drainage.
- Bruising: there may be mild bruising at the site.
The biopsy may not get an adequate sample of tissue, which may require you to have a repeat biopsy.
- You may eat and drink immediately after the procedure.
- You may remove your dressing/band-aid that night or the next day.
- Avoid strenuous activity for 24 hours after the biopsy.
- You may experience some discomfort after the procedure. If needed, a simple analgesic such as paracetamol (Panadol) should provide relief. Do NOT take Aspirin. A small ice pack applied to the area may help settle any pain.
- Infection and bleeding are potential complications. If you notice any increased redness, swelling, fever or pain, notify your referring doctor or immediately call the clinic where the injection was performed.
If you do not have your results in 1 to 2 weeks, contact your referrer.
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