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Fine-needle Breast Biopsy


Fine needle breast biopsy (BI-op-se) is also called fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB). This is a procedure to diagnose lumps in the breast. Caregivers use thin needles to remove fluid or cells from the lump in your breast. The samples taken are sent to a lab and examined for cancer. When the lump is deep or not felt by your caregiver, he may use imaging procedures as a guide. These may include an ultrasound or a stereotactic mammography. Stereotactic mammography makes use of computers which help locate the lump. With a fine needle breast biopsy, your breast lesions may be diagnosed, and treatment given as soon as possible.

Needle Breast Biopsy



  • Keep a current list of your medicines: Include the amounts, and when, how, and why you take them. Take the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists. Use vitamins, herbs, or food supplements only as directed.
  • Take your medicine as directed: Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not working as expected. Tell him about any medicine allergies, and if you want to quit taking or change your medicine.

Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.

Ask your caregiver when the results of your procedure will be available.

Breast exams:

Do a monthly breast exam on your other breast. If you are having monthly periods, do it 2 or 3 days after your period ends. If you have gone through menopause (change of life), check your breast on the same day each month. You may also need to have a mammogram taken regularly. Ask your caregiver for more information about how to do a breast exam and when to have a mammogram.


  • You have a fever.
  • You have discharge or pain in the area where the needle was inserted.
  • Your skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
  • You have questions or concerns about your procedure or care.


  • The skin around your biopsy area is red, swollen, or has pus.
  • You feel something is bulging out into your chest and not going back in.
  • You have pain in your chest or armpit that does not go away even after taking pain medicines.
  • You have trouble breathing all of a sudden.
  • Your shoulder, arm, or fingers feel numb, tingly, cool to touch, or look blue or pale.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

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

Learn more about Fine-needle Breast Biopsy (Aftercare Instructions)

Micromedex® Care Notes