A biopsy is a test of tissue from the body. A lab will check the sample to see if there is something unusual about it.

Possible Complications

Problems are rare, but there is some risk. Problems may be:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Pain
  • Infection
  • Scarring

Smoking may raise the risk of problems.

Be sure to talk with your doctor about these risks.



This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.


American Cancer Society 

American College of Surgeons 


Canadian Cancer Society 

Health Canada 


Biopsy. Radiological Society of North America Radiology Info website. Available at: Accessed March 14, 2018.

Schoonjans JM, Brem RF. Fourteen-gauge ultrasonographically guided core-needle biopsy of breast masses. J Ultrasound Med. 2001;20(9):967-972.

6/3/2011 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance  : Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.