Breast Ultrasound Core Needle Breast Biopsy
Based on the results of your breast
ultrasound, a doctor (radiologist) has
recommended a Breast Ultrasound Core
Needle Biopsy. Breast tissue samples are
removed with a core needle. The ultrasound
guides the needle to the location of concern.
Before the Biopsy
A Breast Center nurse will review all
prescribed and over-the-counter medicines.
You may need to stop blood thinners before
the biopsy. The nurse will discuss this with
A nurse will review all allergies. This
includes all medicines, latex, metal, and
You will be awake for the biopsy. If you
would like a relaxant to calm you before the
biopsy, please contact your primary doctor.
This must be arranged in advance. The
Breast Center does not provide these
medicines. If you decide to take a relaxant,
you must have someone drive you home
after the biopsy. You should not drive or
make important decisions until the next day.
You do not need to fast before the biopsy. If
you are diabetic, follow your regular
diabetic care regimen.
Wear a two-piece outfit. You will be asked
to undress from the waist up.
Do not wear talcum powder, lotions or
deodorant on the breast and underarm area.
Your stay at the Breast Center will be about
During the Biopsy
You will need to lie on your back on the
exam table. You will be awake for the exam.
Gel will be placed on your breast. The area
of concern will be located using ultrasound.
Your breast will be cleaned with an
antiseptic. This may feel cool on your skin.
The doctor will inject a numbing medicine
(Lidocaine) into your breast. You may feel a
sting. Our goal is that you not feel any pain
after this is given. You may feel pressure
during the procedure. If you do feel pain, let
the staff know.
The doctor will use ultrasound to guide the
biopsy needle to the correct area. A small
nick will be made in the skin of your breast.
The doctor will then insert the needle using
the ultrasound computer image as a guide.
This ensures that the tissue sample is taken
from the correct area.
When the biopsy samples are taken, you will
hear a clicking or whirring sound as a piece
of tissue is removed. The samples will be
sent to pathology to be examined under a
After the biopsy, a small titanium marker
will be placed in the breast. This will mark
the area of the biopsy. It will be seen on
future mammograms. There are no known
risks with having the marker. You do not
need to worry about metal detectors or MRI
procedures. Titanium is not affected by this
type of equipment.
The needle will be removed from your
breast. There may be slight bleeding.
Pressure will be applied to the site to stop
any bleeding. The site will be covered with
thin strips of tape (Steri-Strips ). An ice
pack will be applied for about 10 minutes.
A final mammogram will be performed to
check the position of the marker clip.
Care After the Biopsy
After the biopsy you will be assessed for any
bleeding. A protective bandage is placed
over the biopsy site.
Your pathology results will be done in 3-4
working days. Your doctor’s office or the
Breast Center staff will call you with your
For the first 24 hours, avoid forceful arm
movements and do not lift more than 10
pounds. You may return to work and most
activities the next day.
Apply ice to the biopsy area for 20-30
minutes at least 3 times the day of the
biopsy. After that day, use ice as needed.
This will help to reduce swelling and pain.
Do not place ice directly on the skin.
Remove the protective bandage the next
day. The Steri-Strips will loosen and come
off on their own in about 7 days. If they are
still in place after 7 days you may gently
We suggest you wear a supportive bra to
minimize breast movement. A sports bra
You may shower the next day. Pat the
biopsy site area dry. Do not soak in a tub or
pool for 48 hours.
You may have some mild discomfort and
bruising. This should go away in about a
week. You may use Tylenol for this pain.
Take as directed. You may take Ibuprofen as
needed 24 hours after the biopsy as long as
there is no sign of bleeding.
Monitor for any signs of infection:
ξ Temperature over 100.4°F
ξ Significant swelling, firmness or
ξ Increased redness
ξ Drainage around the site that is pus-
Please call if you have bleeding that soaks
the bandage or that is flowing from the site.
Hold firm pressure to the site if this occurs.
It is normal to have a small amount of blood
(dime to quarter size) show through on the
If you have questions or concerns about
your care, please call the following numbers.
Normal working hours are Monday through
Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
UW Health Breast Center at the University
Normal working hours: 608-266-6400
After hours and weekends, call (608) 262-
2122. This will give you the paging
operator. Ask to speak to the radiologist on
call. Give the operator your name and
phone number with the area code. The
doctor will call you back.
UW Health Breast Center at 1 S Park Street:
Normal working hours: 608-287-2933
After hours and weekend, call 608-417-
6000. Ask to speak with the radiologist on
call at Meriter/Unity Point Hospital.
For medical emergencies, call 911.
The Spanish version of this Health Facts for You is #5991.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 10/2017 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5903