Vacuum-Assisted Biopsy (brand names, Mammotome or MIBB)
- What is Vacuum-Assisted Biopsy?
- How is Vacuum-Assisted Biopsy Performed?
- How Should Patients Prepare for Vacuum-Assisted Biopsy?
- What Should Patients Expect After Vacuum-Assisted Biopsy?
- What are the Advantages and Disadvantages to Vacuum-Assisted Biopsy?
To prepare for a vacuum-assisted biopsy, patients may eat a light meal prior to the exam and biopsy procedure. A comfortable two-piece garment should be worn. Women should not wear talcum powder, deodorant, lotion, or perfume under their arms or on their breasts on the day of the procedure (since these may cause image artifacts or other problems). Patients who take blood thinners or aspirin should talk to their physicians about whether they should discontinue using them prior to vacuum-assisted biopsy. Any jewelry worn (especially earrings or necklaces) should be easily and quickly removable.
An adhesive bandage is applied to the biopsy site after the procedure is complete. A cold pack may also be used to relieve swelling and reduce bruising. Patients may be instructed to take Tylenol or other pain relievers for discomfort if needed. Some bruising of the breast may occur during the first five to seven days after the biopsy (or longer if the initial bleeding during the biopsy was greater than usual). Temporary bruising of the breast after biopsy is normal and is usually not a medical concern.
Patients should contact their physicians if they experience any excessive swelling, bleeding, drainage, redness, or heat in the area of the biopsy or breast. Patients should also discuss the final results of the biopsy procedure with their referring physician within a few days of the procedure.
Vacuum-assisted breast biopsy is becoming more common but requires a highly skilled radiologist or surgeon who is experienced in performing the procedure. Some patients are not good candidates for vacuum-assisted biopsy or may have lesions (breast abnormalities) that are difficult to locate with minimally-invasive equipment.
However, many breast lesions (abnormalities) are able to be biopsied using the vacuum-assisted method, and if a patient is a candidate for vacuum-assisted biopsy, there are several advantages over the traditional open surgical biopsy:
|Vacuum-Assisted Biopsy||Open Surgical Biopsy|
|Minimally invasive, requires 0.25 inch incision (approximately 0.6 cm)||Requires 1.5 to 2 inch incision (approximately 3.8 cm to 5.1 cm)|
|Usually no significant scarring||May potentially cause substantial scarring|
|Performed under local anesthesia||Performed under local or general anesthesia|
|Does not require stitches||Requires stitches|
|Procedure takes less than one hour||Procedure takes longer than one hour|
|Patients can usually return to normal activity shortly after procedure||Requires at least one full day of recovery after the procedure|
|Typically costs significantly less than open surgical biopsy||Typically costs more than vacuum-assisted biopsy and is usually the most expensive method of biopsy|
|Usually provides a definitive diagnosis based on tissue samples||Provides a definitive diagnosis based on tissue samples|