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I Need a Surgical Breast Biopsy: What Can I Expect?

I Need a Surgical Breast Biopsy: What Can I Expect?

breast biopsy is a diagnostic procedure that involves removing a small sample of your breast tissue for analysis. It’s one of the most effective ways to detect signs of breast cancer, but the thought of getting a biopsy can be scary. 

Surgical biopsies remove a larger sample of tissue than other methods, but the good news is that it’s still a minimally invasive procedure. 

Elvira Klause, MD, FACS, and our team specialize in breast surgery and oncology in San Clemente, California, and we’re here to help you understand what to expect if you need a surgical breast biopsy.

How surgical breast biopsy works

If you recently found out you need a surgical breast biopsy, it’s normal to have questions. When you get a breast biopsy, Dr. Klause takes a sample of the lump or suspicious tissue to be examined under a microscope for signs of cancer.

We may recommend a surgical biopsy if your mammogram or breast ultrasound showed an abnormality that we can’t diagnose through other means, or if a needle biopsy is inconclusive.

A surgical breast biopsy involves removing a larger sample of your breast tissue through a small incision. There are two main types: incisional and excisional. An incisional biopsy removes only a portion of the suspicious tissue, while an excisional biopsy removes the entire lump or area of concern.

What to expect during your surgical breast biopsy

Before your procedure, we administer general anesthesia. Dr. Klause makes a small incision in your breast and removes the sample of breast tissue.

She then closes the incision with a few small stitches. The procedure can take between 30 minutes and one hour, depending on the size of the lump or area of concern.

What to expect after your surgical breast biopsy

When your biopsy is done, we move you to a recovery room and monitor you until you’re awake and alert. You can go home afterward, but you need someone to drive you.

It’s normal to experience some pain, bruising, or swelling around the incision site for a few days. We may give you pain medication or recommend over-the-counter options to ease your discomfort.

We give you instructions for recovering at home, which may include avoiding showering or bathing for the first day or two and avoiding strenuous activity for at least a week. We schedule follow-up appointments as needed and let you know when it’s safe to resume your normal activities.

Getting the results of your surgical breast biopsy

After the biopsy, we send your tissue sample to a lab for analysis. The results may be available within a few days to a week after the procedure.

Dr. Klause reviews your results with you and determines if any additional treatment is needed. If the tissue isn’t cancerous, you may need no further treatment. If it is cancerous, you may need additional tests, such as a breast MRI or a CT scan, to determine the extent of the cancer.

A surgical breast biopsy is one of the best ways to detect breast cancer, especially if other tests have been inconclusive. If you have any concerns about your breast health or you’ve noticed any changes in your breast tissue, book an appointment with Dr. Klause to learn more about your options.

Call our office at 949-245-6910 or request an appointment online today.

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