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Vacuum-Assisted Breast Biopsy

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Vacuum-assisted breast biopsy is a surgical procedure to remove a lump from your breast. It may be used to diagnose lumps that are small, deep, or cannot be felt. A needle attached to a suction is used to remove tissue from the breast. Healthcare providers may use an ultrasound with a monitor to guide the procedure.

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • You have sudden trouble breathing.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You feel something is bulging out of your chest and not going back in.

Call your doctor if:

  • You have pain in your chest or armpit that does not go away even after you take pain medicines.
  • Your shoulder, arm, or fingers tingle, feel numb or cool to the touch, or look blue or pale.
  • The skin around your biopsy area is red, swollen, or has pus.
  • You have a fever.
  • Your skin itches, is swollen, or has a rash.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Medicines:

You may need any of the following:

  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Care for your biopsy site as directed:

If you have a tight-fitting bandage, you can remove it in 24 to 48 hours, or as directed. Ask your healthcare provider when your biopsy site can get wet. Carefully wash around the site with soap and water. It is okay to let soap and water gently run over your biopsy site. Do not scrub the site. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty. Check your biopsy site every day for signs of infection such as redness, swelling, or pus. Do not put powders or lotions on your biopsy site.

Self-care:

  • Apply ice on your biopsy site for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel before you apply it to your skin. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.
  • Rest as directed. Do not lift anything heavier than 5 pounds, play sports, or exercise for 24 hours or as directed. These activities may cause bleeding. Short walks around the house are okay.
  • Wear a supportive bra as directed. You may have to wait until you remove the tight-fitting bandage to wear a bra. You can wear a sports bra or a wireless bra that fits snugly. A supportive bra may help decrease swelling and pain.

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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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.