Breast Biopsy



Breast needle biopsy is when a needle is used to remove a sample of breast tissue. The sample is examined under a microscope. There are different types of breast needle biopsies:

Possible Complications

Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Bruising

Things that may raise the risk of problems are:

  • Smoking
  • Long term diseases such as obesity or diabetes



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.

a (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.


American Cancer Society 

Cancer Care 


Canadian Breast Cancer Network https://www.cbcn.c 

Canadian Cancer Society 


Biopsy. Breast Cancer website. Available at: Accessed September 21, 2021.

Breast biopsy. American Cancer Society website. Available at: Accessed September 21, 2021.

Breast cancer in women. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed September 21, 2021.

Breast cancer—health professional version. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: Accessed September 21, 2021.

Ultrasound-guided breast biopsy. Radiology Info—Radiological Society of North America website. Available at: Accessed September 21, 2021.

Wang M, He X, et al. A sensitivity and specificity comparison of fine needle aspiration cytology and core needle biopsy in evaluation of suspicious breast lesions: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Breast. 2017;31:157-166.