Most breast biopsies are performed because a mammogram has indicated suspicious masses and calcifications in breast tissue. A biopsy can determine whether these masses are malignant or benign. There are two main kinds of biopsy done in the operating room:
- Excision biopsies, which remove the whole mass. This is general done for masses that are believe to be benign but may be growing. The excision biopsy is a diagnostic procedure, but it is also a treatment; surgeons remove the suspicious tissues in the operating room.
- Needle localized breast biopsies, which are typically reserved from for suspicious calcifications and atypical cells.
Breast biopsies done in the operating room are a minor surgery. Many patients experience a relatively small amount of pain are are back at their normal activities the next day!