CORE BIOPSY

 

WHAT IS A VACUUM ASSISTED CORE BIOPSY?

This is a method for taking a specimen of abnormal tissue under x-ray or ultrasound guidance. The vacuum biopsy provides sufficient tissue for diagnosis, avoiding the need to take the specimen by means of an operation. A vacuum assisted biopsy may also be used as a non surgical method to remove benign (non cancerous) lumps in the breast.

ARE THERE ANY RISKS FROM THE PROCEDURE?

There may be some bleeding inside the breast and a bruise or swelling (haematoma) will form. Care is taken that no infection occurs. When the biopsy is performed using X-ray guidance this involves the use of ionising radiation, however, the risks are very low and are outweighed by the benefits of having this procedure.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

The benefits from making a diagnosis and consequently giving you the right treatment outweigh any small risks involved. With vacuum assisted biopsy, a larger specimen can be taken with a less invasive procedure. The risk to your health from not having the examination and missing a serious disorder may be much greater.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE PROCEDURE?

Once the area has been located, the surrounding skin will be numbed using local anaesthetic. A small nick will be made in the skin to assist in placing the vacuum-assisted biopsy needle close to the area. The needle, which is attached to a suction device, is then placed into the area or lump. The Radiologist uses the X-ray or ultrasound images of the area to monitor the procedure. Small amounts of tissue are collected through the needle until the required number of samples have been obtained or the lump has been removed. A clip marker may be inserted via the needle by the Radiologist. The marker will be visible on any future X-ray or ultrasound images.

At the end of the procedure, the needle device is withdrawn from the breast and the opening is pressed for a short time to stop bleeding. A small dressing will be placed over the area and it should be kept dry for 48 hours.

The procedure will take approx. 40 minutes.

The Pathology report will be sent to referring doctor, this normally takes 48 hours.