Procedures: Core Biopsy / Rotational Core Biopsy

This type of biopsy uses a needle which removes cores or pieces of the breast from an area of concern in the breast. This can be done to sample a lump in the breast or an area which is abnormal on mammogram. The needle is usually placed directly into the area of concern using ultrasound (ultrasound guided) or mammogram (stereotactic) and sometimes MRI to assure that the correct area is sampled. This is currently the recommended way to gain information about the nature of breast lumps or other abnormalities. It is accurate, less invasive and has less chance to cause deformity than removal of the area.

Prior to the procedure the area to be sampled will be confirmed using ultrasound or mammogram. Then the skin over the area will be cleaned with an antiseptic solution. The skin and underlying breast will be anesthetized (numbed) with a local anesthetic. A small incision will be made in the skin and the needle placed into the area to be sampled. The position of the needle will then be checked with ultrasound or mammograms.

When the samples are taken you may hear a click or a vibrating from the needle but you should not feel pain. Should you feel any pain, let the doctor know so that more numbing medicine can be given.

Once the biopsy is done, a tiny metal clip will be inserted to mark the area of the biopsy. This is done so that there will be a record of where the samples were taken. It may also be used to help guide the surgeon to the area should it need to be removed surgically. These tiny clips do not move through the body or react with it and can stay in the breast indefinitely without problem.

After the biopsy, the doctor will hold pressure over the area. Bruising is very common after this procedure so don’t be alarmed if you see it. Using ice over the area and wearing a supportive bra or sports bra will help. Some discomfort from the bruise is common and can be relieved with Tylenol or Ibuprofen. If you experience severe bruising or swelling of the breast or pain not relieved by over the counter pain medications, you should let your doctor know at once.

The cores or pieces of the breast that are removed will be sent to the laboratory and examined. Your doctor will either call you with these results or see you in the office to discuss them once they are available.