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patient education : 17023--Ultrasound Core Biopsy

Information from the Breast Care Center about the ultrasound core biopsy procedure.

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    Ultrasound Core Biopsy

    Core biopsy is a needle biopsy of the breast. It is done to remove a sample of tissue from an area of concern that has been detected on a recent mammogram, ultrasound, or MRI.

    Ultrasound-guided core biopsy is most useful when there are suspicious changes on the mammogram that can also be seen on an ultrasound exam.

    Please come to the Breast Care Center located on the first floor of University Hospital West at least 20 minutes prior to your appointment.

    Appointment Date: ______________   M   Tu   W Th   F    Time:______________

    Please contact your insurance company if you have any questions about insurance coverage.

    Women who do not have health insurance have assistance options:

    • UVA Health System Financial Assistance       434-924-5377 or 800-523-4398. Patients at UVA who lack financial resources or who have exhausted their health insurance benefits may be eligible for assistance from UVA.

    Before the Biopsy

    It is important to let us know if you:

    • have a history of bleeding problems
    • use blood thinners (for example: Coumadin, Eliquis, Xarelto)
    • use anti-inflammatory products (for example: Celebrex, Meloxicam)
    • use herbal products (for example: glucosamine sulphate, garlic tablets, turmeric, vitamin E, ginko biloba)
    • use products that contain aspirin or ibuprofen (for example: Advil or Motrin)
    • have any allergies to local anesthetics, tape, latex, pain medication, or any other medication allergies

    Do not use aspirin and ibuprofen products during the 5-7 days before your biopsy. Check with your doctor to see if any anti-inflammatory medications that you may be taking should also be stopped. These products can interfere with blood clotting, which can cause bleeding during or after the biopsy. Products that contain acetaminophen (for example: Tylenol) are safe to use.

    During the CORE Biopsy

    1. You will lie on your back on a padded table. Your arm on the side of the biopsy will be moved up over your head.
    2. An ultrasound of your breast will be done to locate the area of concern seen on your previous ultrasound.
    3. Your skin will be cleansed with a cool antiseptic solution.
    4. Local anesthetic will be injected to numb the area where the biopsy device will be inserted. This may sting during the injection.
    5. A small nick (about 1/4 inch) will be made in the skin.
    6. The biopsy device will then be gently guided into the breast while the radiologist is watching with the ultrasound. You may feel some pressure as the device is being inserted.
    7. You will hear a clicking sound when the core needle is taking samples. Many tissue samples will be taken. The radiologist will decide how many are needed during the procedure.

    After Your NEEDLE Biopsy

    • Pressure will be applied over the biopsy site.
    • You may have mild discomfort. You may see a small amount of bruising for 5 to 7 days after the biopsy.

    Care of Your Breast after a CORE Biopsy

    • The biopsy site will be covered with special skin glue or steri-strips (special bandages) that can be removed in 24-48 hours. You may shower or bath the next day.
    • Apply an ice pack over the biopsy site for 20 minutes at least 3 times during the first 24 hours to help reduce swelling and discomfort.
    • Wear a bra for the first 24 hours (sports bra if you have one), including at night.
    • Take acetaminophen (for example: Tylenol) for discomfort, if needed. Do not take any products that contain aspirin or NSAIDS for 24-48 hours (for example: Ibuprofen, Motrin, Aleve, Excedrin, Baby aspirin or Advil).
    • Rest at home for the remainder of the day.
    • Return to your regular activities but do not do any heavy lifting (more than 5 pounds) for 48 hours or strenuous (hard) exercise for one week.


    Your biopsy results should be available 3 business days after the procedure. You will be contacted by telephone with the results. To protect your privacy, we do not leave your results on an answering machine. Please contact us on the third business day after the procedure if you have not heard from us by 4 pm. The physician who recommended your mammogram will receive a report of your biopsy results.

    If you have any questions or concerns relating to this procedure, please call the nurse listed below. The toll free number is 1-800-251-3627.

    Registered Nurse       ____________________________________ (434)-297-4042

    Mammography Technologist      _________________________ (434) 924-2935

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