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Breast Biopsy Procedure

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Breast Biopsy Procedure Treatment & Diagnostics in Chirag Enclave, Delhi

Breast Biopsy Procedure

When a lesion or lump in the breast is suspected to be cancerous, it needs to be evaluated further to confirm or rule out certain conditions. For this reason, a surgical breast biopsy is performed wherein the suspected breast tissue is collected and sent to a laboratory for investigation.

To know more, you can consult a breast surgery doctor near you or a breast surgery hospital near you.

What is breast biopsy?

A surgical breast biopsy is performed under general anesthesia. In cases where the lump is small or superficial, local anesthesia is used to numb the breast.

To make it easy for a surgeon and reduce damage to the breast tissue, in cases where the breast lump cannot be felt, a wire localization technique is used. In this technique, a radiologist maps out the area of the mass in the breast to guide the surgeon by placing the tip of a thin wire within the breast just before the surgery.

Depending upon the extent of the mass and if the cancer cells are invading healthy, surrounding tissues, the surgeon decides whether he/she needs to remove the entire breast tissue or just the lump/mass. 

When the margins are clear, it means that cancer has been completely removed. If the margins still show the presence of cancer cells, you will require additional surgeries and therapy to kill them and get rid of cancer completely.

Who qualifies for a surgical breast biopsy?

Women and men, regardless of their age, can be advised to have a surgical breast biopsy. However, a surgical biopsy is not indicated in all cases. You may be advised a surgical biopsy if your surgeon detects an anomaly in your mammogram or breast ultrasound. Your surgeon and radiologist will together determine the type of biopsy that you need for the most accurate diagnosis.

A surgical biopsy may also be required when imaging tests are unable to provide a clear image of the type of mass in the breast. In cases where a needle biopsy shows some signs of cancer cells, a surgical breast biopsy may be performed to confirm it.

Why is a surgical breast biopsy conducted?

A surgical breast biopsy is indicated when there is a lump in the breast which is suspected to be a tumor. Though most breast lumps are non-cancerous, your doctor may advise a surgical breast biopsy if they suspect them to be cancerous, based on imaging and other diagnostic tests.

A surgical breast biopsy may be performed if you show the following symptoms:

  • Crusting around the nipple
  • Abnormal or bloody discharge from the breast tissue or nipple
  • Dimpling of skin over the breast
  • Scaling
  • Hardening or thickening lump in the breast

What are the different types of surgical breast biopsy?

There can be different types of biopsy based on the technique used. Based on whether the surrounding tissues are removed or not, a surgical biopsy can be of two types:

  • Incisional biopsy: In this procedure, only the abnormal tissue is removed while leaving the surrounding tissues intact.
  • Excisional biopsy: In this procedure, the abnormal tissue is removed along with normal breast tissue around it for evaluation.

What are the benefits?

There are many benefits of using non-surgical biopsy types, but they are also less reliable. However, surgical breast biopsy procedures are more reliable and the results are more conclusive. Many people who undergo non-surgical biopsy procedures usually need to undergo a surgical one.

What are the risks?

There are a few risks associated with a surgical breast biopsy procedure. These include:

  • Swelling of the breast
  • Bruising around the surgical site
  • Infection at the biopsy site
  • Bleeding from the site
  • Abnormal breast appearance depending upon the amount of breast tissue removed during the biopsy

If you observe increased redness or warmth in the site of surgery or abnormal discharge from the nipples, you must visit your doctor immediately as these require prompt treatment.

Request an appointment at Apollo Spectra Hospitals, Chirag Enclave, New Delhi.

Call 1860 500 2244 to book an appointment.


A surgical breast biopsy is very useful in detecting breast cancer in its early stages, thereby reducing mortality associated with late diagnosis. Despite the presence of non-invasive biopsy techniques, the surgical technique is more reliable.

Do I need an overnight stay at the hospital following a surgical breast biopsy?

A surgical breast biopsy is usually performed under local or general anesthesia. However, you don’t require a hospital stay following the surgery.

What do the biopsy results mean?

After a surgical breast biopsy is done, it may take a few hours to days for your results to arrive. The result of the biopsy is usually:

  • Normal: No cancer cells detected.
  • Abnormal yet benign: Biopsy shows abnormal cells and breast changes but these are not cancerous. In most cases, these are calcium deposits or cysts.
  • Cancerous: When abnormal cancer-like cells are found, your report will clearly state the same.

How can I prepare for the surgical breast biopsy procedure?

For a surgical breast biopsy, you will not require any special preparations if your procedure is scheduled to be done under local anesthesia. If you require general anesthesia, you will be advised not to eat or drink anything for several hours before the procedure. Any additional instructions may be given by your surgeon.


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