For Women Facing a Breast Biopsy

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Questions to ask before having a biopsy

Here are some questions you might want to ask your doctor before having a biopsy done:

  • What type of biopsy do you recommend? Why?
  • How does the size of my breast affect the procedure?
  • Where will you do the biopsy?
  • What exactly will you do?
  • How long will it take?
  • Will I be awake or asleep during the biopsy?
  • Can I drive home afterward, or will I need someone to drive me?
  • If the abnormal area cannot be felt, how will you find it?
  • If you are using a wire to help find the abnormal area, will you check its placement by ultrasound or with a mammogram?
  • Can you draw pictures showing me the size of the cut and the size of the tissue you will remove?
  • Will there be a hole there? Will it show afterward?
  • Will my breast have a different shape or look different afterward?
  • Will you put a clip or marker in my breast?
  • Where will the scar be? What will it look like?
  • Will there be bruising or changes in color of the skin?
  • Will I be sore? If so, how long will it last?
  • When can I take off the bandage?
  • When can I take a shower?
  • Will there be stitches? Will they dissolve or do I need to come back to the office and have them removed?
  • When can I go back to work? Will I be tired?
  • Will my activities be limited? Can I lift things? Care for my children?
  • How soon will I know the biopsy results?
  • Should I call you or will you call me with the results?
  • Will you or someone else explain the biopsy results to me?

Last Medical Review: 07/21/2014
Last Revised: 07/21/2014