Types of Procedures to Evaluate
a Lump or Calcifications
Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA)
A very small needle, attached to a syringe, is inserted into the area
and suction applied to remove cells. May or may not have local anesthesia
given. No scar left. May return to normal activities. Cells sent for cytopathology
studies. Performed in a physician's office or clinic. May need to be followed
by an incisional or excisional biopsy.
Core Needle Biopsy
A larger needle with a special cutting edge removes a core of tissues
from the breast. Local anesthesia is used. Performed in a physician's
office or clinic. Sample tissue is sent to pathology lab. Usually no scar.
May resume normal activities.
Performed on areas difficult to locate by feeling or found on mammography.
Area is identified by mammography. Fine wire is inserted so the tip will
rest in the identified area. A second mammogram confirms placement of
the correct position. Localization wire is taped to the breast and patient
is transferred to surgery for the surgeon to remove the identified area.
Local anesthesia is given. The tissue removed is sent to pathology. A
small scar is left on the breast. Activities may be limited for several
days until area heals.
Performed on areas difficult to feel or ones located only on mammography.
Patient may sit or lie on a table where the breast falls through an opening.
The breast is compressed and pictures taken to identify the area. A computer
calculates the position of the biopsy needle. Local anesthesia is given.
A small incision may be made on the breast where the needle will enter.
The needle is inserted and removes the suspicious tissues. Biopsy specimen
is sent to pathology. No scar is left on the breast. Normal activities
can be resumed.
A surgeon removes a portion of the lump in a surgical suite. Local or
general anesthesia will be used. A short time is required in the recovery
room after the surgery. A scar is left on the breast. The specimen is
sent to the pathologist. Activities will be restricted until stitches
A surgeon removes the entire lump in a surgical suite. Local or general
anesthesia is used. A short time is required in recovery. Stitches close
the incision. Activities are restricted until stitches are removed. A
scar is left on the breast. The biopsy specimen is sent to pathology.
For more information, please call The Connie Dwyer Breast
Center at (973) 877-5189.
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