Breast Biopsy

Overview

Definition

Breast needle biopsy is the removal of a sample of breast tissue using a needle. The sample is examined in a lab. There are different types of breast needle biopsies:

Possible Complications

Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have a biopsy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Bruising

Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  • Smoking
  • Poor nutrition
  • Chronic illnesses, such as obesity or diabetes
  • Bleeding disorders

SymptomsandDiagnosis

Treatments

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.

RESOURCES

American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org 

Breast Cancer http://www.breastcancer.org 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation http://www.cbcf.org 

Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca 

References

Biopsy. Breast Cancer website. Available at: http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/testing/types/biopsy. Updated September 17, 2012. Accessed January 22, 2013.

Breast cancer in women. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:  http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113654/Breast-cancer-in-women . Updated September 14, 2016. Accessed October 7, 2016.

Han BK, Schnall MD, Orel SG, Rosen M. Outcome of MRI-guided breast biopsy. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2008;191(6):1798-1804.

Heywang-Köbrunner SH, Sinnatamby R, et al. Interdisciplinary consensus on the uses and technique of MRI-guided vacuum-assisted breast biopsy (VAB): results of a European consensus meeting. Eur J Radiol. 2009;72(2):289-294.

Kinds of biopsies. Cancer Prevention Institute of California website. Available at: http://dcis.info/biopsy-kinds.html. Accessed January 22, 2013.

Pfenninger JL, Fowler GC. Procedures for Primary Care Physicians. St. Louis, MO: Mosby-Year Book; 1994.

Sabiston DC, Lyerly HK. Textbook of Surgery. 15th ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Co.; 1997.