What is a breast biopsy or excision?
A breast biopsy is the removal (excision) of some breast tissue in order to examine a lesion under a microscope. Some lesions are benign and some are being examined to rule out cancer.
How is the procedure performed?
If the lesion can be easily seen or palpated, a skin incision is used above it and later closed after the tissue is removed. Sometimes, an imaging modality such as mammography or ultrasound may be used to point out the area of interest to be removed. Wires may be placed beforehand to help guide the biopsy.
What is recovery like?
Patients go home the same day. Ice and over the counter pain medications (Tylenol and Ibuprofen) are usually adequate for pain control. The skin is closed with dissolveable stitches underneath the skin and either skin glue that flakes off in 2-3 weeks OR miniature band aids that fall off in 2 weeks. The results of the biopsy can take 5-7 business days.