After Your Breast Has Been Biopsied. .
Stereotactic biopsy: If
you have undergone a stereotactic biopsy through a small
incision (4 mm), then this was most likely done under
straight local anesthesia. This is important because you
can drive yourself home if need be and stay by yourself.
After the biopsy you should use an ice pack during the
first 24 hours (frozen peas in a plastic bag are good) to
reduce inflammation. The pathology usually takes 24 hours
since there is too little tissue to perform a frozen
section. Call your surgeon for swelling, increasing
tenderness and redness. You can sometimes get a hematoma
from bleeding deep inside the breast.
Open biopsy: The surgeon
may or may not have a frozen section performed and hence
you may or not know about the pathology. After you are
driven home from the surgical facility, you should rest
for the remainder of the day. Do not drive or operate
equipment for 24 hours after you anesthetic. When you
first go out to drive, make sure that you feel in control
before you engage the starter.
You may be nauseated after the biopsy.
Some of this nausea may be related to the drugs that were
given to you as a part of your anesthetic and some of the
nausea may be related to anxiety over the outcome of the
biopsy. Pain medications that are related to opiates
(codeine, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone) can cause
nausea. You may want to limit you food intake on that day
to soups and light solids. Resume your normal diet on the
Your incision is covered by a bandage
that may be removed after 24 hours. There are steristrips
that are applied to the incision and these should be
allowed to remain for about 12 weeks. The incision is
closed with absorbable suture material (will dissolve in
4-6 weeks). You may shower and get this wet in 24 hours.
If you have a drain in place, you should take a sponge
bath but not get the drain site wet. If you have a drain
in place, you should have instructions to measure the
amount of output that is recorded in the bulb.
Occasionally, the steristrips will produce a "traction"
blister to the skin around the incision. This is due to
postoperative swelling of the incision area and you may
notice a "blood blister" If you see this, don't pot it
but apply Neosporin cream to this site. (do you know the
difference between cream and ointment?)
After your biopsy, you
may still feel a lump present. This is the blood and
serum that collect in the biopsy cavity. You may notice
bruising that appears in the area around the biopsy site
as well as down in the breast. This is not unusual and
should not cause alarm. If your breast swells and is
increasingly painful, then you should contact your
surgeon. If you develop redness about the biopsy site
particularly if the site is more tender, you should
contact your surgeon. If you have a temperature of 101 F
or higher orally, you should contact your surgeon.
Generally ,the incision will be sore for several days.
Even months after it heals you may experience occasional
sharp shooting pains in the breast that last momentarily.
However, any redness (particularly if the surrounding
skin blanches and becomes white when compressed) develops
in the biopsy area, you should contact your surgeon.
After open biopsy you may want to wear a sports bra when
doing physical activities. The movement of the breast
with exercise may cause significant discomfort if there
is inadequate support.
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