Breast Biopsy (cont.)

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What about pain and complications?

Except for a minor sting from the injected anesthesia, patients usually feel no pain before or during a procedure. After a procedure, some patients may experience some soreness and pain. Usually, an over-the-counter drug is sufficient to alleviate the discomfort.

The risk of complications, such as infection and bleeding, is small for non-surgical procedures and slightly higher for surgical procedures.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of non-surgical procedures versus surgical breast biopsies?

Generally, non-surgical biopsies are less stressful, do not disfigure the skin, leave no internal scar to interfere with the accuracy of future mammograms, and minimize the risk of complications.

However, non-surgical biopsies are not always as reliable as surgical biopsies in producing a conclusive diagnosis. For this reason, some patients who undergo a non-surgical biopsy must also undergo a follow-up surgical biopsy.

What are the different types of breast biopsy procedures and what do they involve?

Breast biopsy procedures include:

  • fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB),
  • core needle biopsy (CNB),
  • vacuum-assisted breast biopsy, and
  • excision biopsy (surgery).
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/10/2014

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