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Core-needle Breast Biopsy


A core needle breast biopsy is a procedure to find the cause of a breast lump. This procedure uses a large needle to collect a sample of tissue from your breast. The sample is then sent to a lab and examined for cancer.


Before your procedure:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • Local anesthesia is medicine used to numb an area of your body that will have surgery or a procedure. The medicine may be given in an injection, cream, gel, or patch.

During your procedure:

  • Your healthcare provider will make a small incision in your skin where the lump is located. A needle with a special tip will be inserted through this incision. X-rays with a monitor or ultrasound may be used to locate the tissue or lump. When the needle reaches the lump, a small amount of breast tissue will removed. Usually, 5 to 6 samples will be taken.
  • A tiny surgical clip may be placed to mark the area where the tissue was removed. This clip will show up on mammograms but will not set off metal detectors. The samples collected are sent to a lab for tests.

After your procedure:

Small pieces of tape may be put over the area where the incision was made. A small bandage will cover the biopsy area on your breast to keep the area clean and dry and to prevent infection.


You may have a bruise or discomfort in the area where the biopsy was done. You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. A breast implant can be damaged during the procedure. If you do not have the breast biopsy, you may have cancer and not know it.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Core-needle Breast Biopsy (Inpatient Care)

Micromedex® Care Notes