Punch biopsy

Mammography and breast ultrasound may not result in a clear diagnosis. Given unclear changes of the breast, a biopsy, a sampling of tissue of the affected area, is then necessary to clarify a diagnosis.

Afterwards, the tissue sample is examined by a pathologist who makes a diagnosis. The results are often available one or two days after the biopsy.

Although changes of the breast have been diagnosed malignant as a result of radiological examinations, it still makes sense to ensure the correct diagnosis by a biopsy. It determines the kind of treatment that cures the breast disease the best.

During biopsy, the correct position of surgical instruments is always controlled by a radiological examination device. If the change of the breast is visible during an ultrasound examination, the tissue will be sampled while performing an ultrasound examination. If it is visible only during mammography or MR mammography, the tissue will be sampled while performing the respective radiological examination.

How is punch biopsy performed?

During punch biopsy, you lie on your back, like undergoing a normal ultrasound examination. The skin and the breast tissue are anesthetized (local anesthesia) similar to anesthetizing a tooth. Thanks to local anesthesia, most patients do not feel much of the procedure.

Taking a sample of the breast tissue is done by using a needle that enters the tissue at a high speed, while its position is controlled by taking ultrasound images. The needle enables us to take 3-5 cylindrical tissue samples so that the pathologist has enough tissue to examine.

Risks punch biopsy

Potential complications include bleeding with a bruise and local infection with reddened skin. However, those risk a quite rare.

Based on the current state of science, the ultrasound-assisted punch biopsy does not increase the risk of the distribution of cancer cells or the development of malignant cells.

Aftercare punch biopsy

After the punch biopsy, which is often over after 5 minutes, you will receive a firm breast tourniquet. This is to prevent a bleeding or a bruise. You can remove the tourniquet the day after the biopsy: just moisten the tourniquet for this purpose, e.g., while taking a shower. Please wear a bra the first day and night after the biopsy. You should avoid any activities that challenge your upper body, e.g., sports activities, the day of the biopsy. Most patients do not need any painkillers after local anesthesia has stopped. If you need painkillers, you can take paracetamol, but do not take aspirin. Generally, the findings of the pathological examination of the tissue are discussed in a separate appointment after the punch biopsy.