Ultrasound-Guided Breast Biopsy

How to Prepare for Your Ultrasound-Guided Breast Biopsy

Based on the results of your last breast ultrasound or mammogram, your physician has recommended a breast biopsy in order to obtain further information. A biopsy is a procedure in which a small sample of tissue is taken for further examination by the laboratory. There are different types of biopsies; this type is an ultrasound-guided biopsy.

During this procedure, small samples of tissue are removed from the breast using a hollow needle. The needle is precisely guided to the correct location using ultrasound.

Prior to Procedure


  • Eat a light meal
  • Use only products containing acetaminophen (such as Tylenol)
  • Wear a loose-fitting, two-piece outfit (i.e. sweat suit or slacks and a blouse)
  • Bring or wear a comfortable bra

Do Not:

  • Take aspirin, ibuprofen (such as Advil) or blood thinners for at least 3 to 7 days prior to the test
    • Consult your physician’s office for more complete instructions if you are currently taking these medications
  • Wear earrings or necklaces
  • Use deodorant, talcum power or bath oil on the day of the biopsy

You will be able to drive yourself home, although some patients may prefer to bring someone with them to drive home. A comfortable waiting area will be provided for your companion.

Prior to your procedure, a nurse will contact you to obtain a health history and answer any questions you may have. If you have not received this call, or you have additional questions, contact the Breast Health Program in Midland at (989) 837-9070 or in Alma at (989) 466-7253.

How the Procedure is Done

Ultrasound-guided breast biopsy is done while you are lying on your back with your arm raised above your head. Before the biopsy, a special, warmed gel is placed on your breast. Then an instrument called a transducer is placed on your breast and slowly moved back and forth to locate the area to be biopsied.

Once the area is identified, the radiologist will cleanse it and inject a local anesthetic. When the area is completely numb, a small incision will be made. To ensure an adequate sample is obtained, several cores of tissue will be taken and sent to the laboratory for review by a pathologist. A tissue marker will then be placed. During the procedure, you will be told what is occurring and cared for by a nurse whose goal is to make you as comfortable as possible.

After the Procedure

  • Manual pressure will be applied to the biopsy site
  • The incision will be covered with Steri-Strip™ skin closures (you will not have stitches)
  • A bandage and cold compress will be applied to relieve swelling and bruising
  • Take a non-aspirin pain reliever like Tylenol every 4 to 6 hours to help alleviate any discomfort, if needed

For 24 hours, do not participate in strenuous activity, such as:

  • aerobics
  • weight lifting
  • tennis
  • skiing
  • vacuuming or similar activities

You may notice some bruising of the area, which should resolve within 5 to 7 days. If you notice any excessive swelling, bleeding, drainage, redness or heat, please call your physician.

Getting Your Biopsy Results

Waiting for biopsy results is never easy. We would suggest that two working days following the procedure you call the office of the doctor who ordered your biopsy. Inform them that your biopsy has been completed. They will provide more details regarding how you will get the results.

If you have any questions, please contact the Breast Health Program in Midland at (989) 837-9070 or in Alma at (989) 466-7253.

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