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Fine-needle Breast Biopsy


Fine needle breast biopsy is a procedure to find the cause of a breast lump. This procedure uses a small needle to collect fluid or cells from your breast. The samples are then sent to a lab and examined for cancer.


Before your procedure:

  • Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
  • Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you have a blood disorder or have had a bleeding problem in the past. Tell him also if you have conditions, such as lung, bone, or muscle problems, which may limit your body position.
  • Tell your caregiver if you know or think you might be pregnant.
  • Arrange a ride home. Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself home.
  • You may need to have a mammogram, ultrasound, x-rays, blood tests, or other tests. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about these and other tests that you may need. Write down the date, time, and location of each test.
  • 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.
  • Write down the correct date, time, and location of your procedure.


What will happen:

  • You may get medicine called anesthesia to numb the area where the procedure will be done.
  • Your healthcare provider will insert a needle into your breast where the lump was found. The needle is attached to a syringe. Your healthcare provider may need to get more than one sample. X-rays with a monitor or ultrasound may be used to locate the tissue or lump. When the needle reaches the lump, fluid or cells are sucked out into the syringe. The needle will then be removed and the skin will be covered with a bandage. The samples collected will then be sent to a lab for tests.

After your procedure:

A small bandage will cover the biopsy area on your breast. You will then be allowed to go home.


  • You cannot make it to your procedure appointment on time.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have a skin infection or a wound near the area where the biopsy will be done.
  • You have questions or concerns about your procedure.

Seek Care Immediately if

  • You feel a new lump in your chest or other breast, or underarm, or see or feel other changes.
  • You have discharge coming from your breast.
  • You have redness, swelling, or severe pain in the breast.


You may have bruising or discomfort in the area where the biopsy was done. You may bleed more than usual or get an infection. If you do not have the breast biopsy, you may have cancer and not know it.

Care Agreement

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 Fine-needle Breast Biopsy (Precare)

Micromedex® Care Notes