Definition of "Breast biopsy"

Last modified: 8 days

Breast biopsy are methods used to biopsy the breast.


The most appropriate method depends upon various factors, including the size, location, appearance, and characteristics of the abnormality. Methods include:

  • Fine needle aspiration (see page), which uses a fine needle and syringe to sample fluid from a breast cyst, or to remove clusters of cells from a solid mass
  • Core needle biopsy, which removes a small but solid samples of tissue using a hollow core needle. The needle used for CNB is larger than the needle used w/ FNA. The needle also has a special cutting edge allowing removal of a bigger sample of tissue. Thus, a realtively large sample can be removed through a small single incision in the skin. First the breast area is locally anesthetized. Then a needle is placed into the breast. It takes a few minutes to perform and is almost painless
    • For palpable lesions, the physician fixes the lesion w/ 1 hand, and performs a freehand needle biopsy w/ the other
    • For non-palpable lesions:
      • Stereotactic mammography, which is possible to pinpoint the exact location of a mass based on images taken from 2 different angles of the x-ray machine
      • U/S, where the radiologist/surgeon can watch the needle on the U/S monitor to help guide it into the areas of concern
      • PEM guidance (positron emission mammagraphy), where the lesion is targetted in 3D based on a PET image of the breast
    • Vacuum assisted biopsy is where there is also a vacuum technique used to assist the collection of the tissue sample. The needle normally uses a lateral opening, and can be rotated allowing multiple samples to be collected via a single skin incision

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Definition of Breast biopsy | Autoprac

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