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Breast Biopsy
A biopsy is the removal of pieces of tissue, which are then sent to a lab for
testing. A breast biopsy may be needed when other tests show something in the
breast that needs to be checked more closely. If a lump is present, it may be
removed at the same time as the biopsy. Lymph nodes around the area may also
be checked. Your doctor will review the results of your biopsy with you at your
next visit and talk to you about treatment if needed.

There are different types of breast biopsies. Your doctor has ordered a:
Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA)
Core Needle Biopsy
Stereotactic Biopsy
Open Excisional Biopsy
To Prepare
• You may be told to not eat food after midnight before the test.
• A family member or friend may need to take you home after your biopsy.
During the Test
• You will be asked to take your clothing off above the waist and put on a
hospital gown.
• An IV (intravenous) may be put into a vein in your arm to give medicine.
• You lie on a table.
• The biopsy site is cleaned.
• The doctor numbs the site. This may sting for a few seconds. After this,
you should only feel pressure and no pain.
• A mammogram or an ultrasound may be done to locate the site to be
Types of Breast Biopsies
Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA)
This biopsy is often done in the doctor’s office for lumps that can be felt.
• The doctor inserts a small needle that is attached to a syringe into the
• The needle may be moved around. Tissue and fluid is collected in the
• The needle is then removed.