How painful is a biopsy of the breast? For breast needle biopsies, only local anesthesia will usually be necessary. This can be uncomfortable, but most patients describe it as perfectly tolerable (experience does vary somewhat). The recovery time is likewise usually quick, though there might be some bleeding and/or bruising.
What percentage of breast biopsies are cancer? More than 1 million women have breast biopsies each year in the United States. About 20 percent of these biopsies yield a diagnosis of breast cancer. Open surgical biopsy removes suspicious tissue through a surgical incision.
How long does a breast cancer biopsy take? The needle biopsy procedure itself only lasts about 15 to 20 minutes, but your entire appointment might take about an hour. An MRI-guided biopsy takes a bit longer and requires you to remain in a very specific position while the doctor locates where the abnormality is in your breast.
What happens after breast cancer biopsy? After the biopsy procedure, the breast tissue is sent to a lab, where a doctor who specializes in analyzing blood and body tissue (pathologist) examines the sample using a microscope and special procedures. The pathologist prepares a pathology report that is sent to your doctor, who will share the results with you.