Breast Biopsy Needle Surgery PreOp® Patient Engagement and Education
Your doctor has recommended that you undergo a breast biopsy procedure - using a hollow needle to sample a portion of a lump or thickening in the breast. Biopsy is a general term which simply means "the removal of tissue for microscopic examination." Your doctor intends to remove tissue from the breast - not because you're necessarily ill - but because breast biopsy is a very accurate method for analyzing breast tissue. In your case, you have lump or thickening in your breast. It was felt by you or your doctor during a routine breast exam or discovered following a mammogram.
Let's take a moment to look at the reasons why lumps form in breast tissue. The breast is made of layers of skin, fat and breast tissue - all of which overlay the pectoralis muscle. Breast tissue itself is made up of a network of tiny milk-carrying ducts and there are three ways in which a lump can form among them. Most women experience periodic changes to their breasts. Cysts are some of the most common kinds of tissues that can grow large enough to be felt and to cause tenderness. Cysts often grow and then shrink without any medical intervention.
A second kind of lump is caused by changes in breast tissue triggered by the growth of a cyst. Even after the cyst itself has gone away, it can leave fibrous tissue behind. This scar tissue can often be large enough to be felt. The third kind of growth is a tumor. Tumors can be either benign or cancerous and it is concern about this type of growth that has lead your doctor to recommend breast biopsy. Sometimes you will have breast changes that cannot be felt by physical examination alone, but may be seen on a mammogram. In this video we will focus only on simple needle biopsy which is the attempt to use a hollow needle to take a sample of the tissue in question.
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