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Vacuum-assisted Breast Biopsy


  • Vacuum-assisted breast biopsy, also called VABB, is a procedure to diagnose lumps in the breast. It is a type of needle breast biopsy where tissue samples are checked for cancer. It uses a needle probe to suction the tissue samples and an imaging procedure as a guide. Before the procedure, pictures taken by stereotaxis or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) will help locate the lump. Caregivers may watch on a screen while doing the biopsy using an ultrasound as a guide.
  • Vacuum-assisted breast biopsy is used to diagnose small lumps and lumps that are deep or cannot be felt. It also allows large amounts of tissue to be taken. Many samples may also be collected without the need to insert the probe more than once. With VABB, your breast lesions may be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.



  • 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.

Follow-up visit information:

Ask your caregiver when the results of your procedure will be available. How often you follow-up may depend on the result of your biopsy. Keep all appointments. Write down any questions you may have. This way you will remember to ask these questions during your next visit.

Breast exams:

Do a monthly breast exam on your other breast. If you have your monthly period, do it 2 or 3 days after your period ends. If you have gone through menopause (change of life), check your breasts 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 biopsy was done.
  • 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 Vacuum-assisted Breast Biopsy (Aftercare Instructions)

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