The Role of Surgical Breast Biopsies

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!

Confused about when to start breast cancer screenings? Dr. O’Neil tackles that topic in another video, here!

+ Learn more about breast cancer care and diagnosis.
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