It’s common to be frightened about having all types of medical procedures done, and having a biopsy is no exception. Luckily, biopsies are easier now than they used to be. They no longer require open surgery; the entire outpatient procedure, including a follow-up mammogram, should only take about 45 minutes or so, and most women are able to resume their normal activities the same day.
However, it’s still completely normal to be a little bit nervous about your biopsy. If you are, it may help to be well-informed about exactly what you’ll be going through on the day of your biopsy. The video below will help you get more information about the Hologic 3-D Breast Biopsy.
Generally, if you need to have a biopsy, it’s because something in your most recent mammogram didn’t look quite right. So on top of being worried about the procedure, you’re probably nervous about the results as well. However, you should know that roughly 80 percent of breast biopsies come back negative, meaning they do not show any signs of cancer.
At the beginning of your appointment, you’ll be positioned close to the biopsy machine, either sitting up or on your side, depending on the location of the questionable area. The doctor will take some images of your breast to help find the right spot for the biopsy. Then he or she will clean and numb your breast before the biopsy needle is inserted.
The biopsy itself will only take about a minute, but you will need to remain as still as possible. After the needle is inserted, another photo will be taken to ensure that it is in the correct spot. Then the needle will open to take a few samples, insert a small chip to mark the area where the biopsy was taken, and be removed from your breast.
This video walks you through what a 3-D mammogram and biopsy (also known as a 3-D Tomosynthesis Breast Biopsy) will be like. Watch to see how the whole process works and to find out more about how to take care of yourself following the procedure.
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?