Undergoing a Breast Biopsy in Houston

A biopsy is a sample of body tissue your doctor takes for the purpose of examining it more closely. Most people have heard about biopsies of lesions, tumors (also known as cysts,) or other masses which are suspected to be cancerous. A doctor should order a biopsy when a test suggests an area of tissue isn’t normal. In some cases, a biopsy of normal-appearing tissue may be done to check for cancer spread.

A breast biopsy in Houston should leave you 100% confident in the test results. Dr. Darlene M. Miltenburg, breast surgeon at Breast Health Institute Houston, will give you the accurate results you need to feel secure.

Breast Biopsy in Houston

In a breast biopsy, irregular tissue is taken from the breast and examined closely for signs of cancer. This is normally done under a microscope; however, there are varying techniques for conducting the biopsy.

Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA)

FNA is the least invasive biopsy technique, and it is often used for masses which appear less menacing, such as cysts and lymph nodes.

On the other hand, FNA can lead to a longer course of treatment. If cancerous cells are found with this method, the surgeon may not be able to tell if the cancer is invasive or not, and this knowledge will guide her treatment decisions. Therefore, additional biopsies may become necessary.

Core Needle Biopsy

When you have a breast biopsy in Houston and Dr. Miltenburg sees an abnormality in your breast imaging (such as mammogram, ultrasound, or MR,) a Core Needle Biopsy will typically be performed. If this procedure is done with a mammogram, it’s called a stereotactic biopsy.

The standard procedure is as follows:

  1. The skin is anesthetized
  2. The surgeon makes a small cut in the skin using a scalpel
  3. A few very small “cores” of tissue are removed from the affected area with a needle (usually 3 or more; as many as are needed to be 100% certain of the results)

Excisional Biopsy

Excisional biopsies are done on breast abnormalities that are not noticeable to the touch, at home or clinically, but are nonetheless visible through imaging. This type of biopsy is also known as “Open Surgical Biopsy,” and it is performed by a method called “wire-localization:”

  1. While viewing the abnormality via imaging, a very small wire is passed to the tumor (mass, etc.) through the skin while the patient is awake.
  2. After locating the mass with the wire (“localization”), the patient is taken to the operating room, where the doctor’s incision follows the wire to the tissue in question and it is removed.
  3. The removed tissue is usually x-rayed, to make sure the possibly cancerous tissue was properly and fully removed.
  4. The tissue is sent to pathology for a biopsy.

Incisional Biopsy

In cases where the mass is easy to feel in the breast tissue, it can be removed without localization. After making an incision, the surgeon removes the mass using special scissors, electro-cautery, or something similar. This time, the tissue “may or may not be x-rayed” before being sent to pathology for a biopsy.

Lumpectomy/ Partial Mastectomy

This is very similar to an excisional biopsy, however, rather than only removing the mass or tumor (like a surgeon does in excisional biopsy,) the goal here is to remove the mass with a rim of surrounding “normal” tissue.

Breast Biopsy in Houston

Houston Breast Cancer Surgeon Darlene M. Miltenburg provides service to women with breast cancer, women at high risk for developing breast cancer, and women with benign or unknown breast disorders. With Dr. Miltenburg, you will experience a different kind of surgery, and you will experience a different kind of relationship with your doctor. Dr. Miltenburg knows how to listen, because she understands your expectations are more than just wanting to “be OK.”

Call 713-714-3930 or Contact Breast Health Institute Houston Today.

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