Understanding Breast biopsies

A breast biopsy involves the use of local anesthetic and ultrasound guidance, as a radiologist inserts a needle into a known lesion in the breast. The procedure accomplished by using ultrasound to guide the needle to the lesion in real time. Multiple samples are collected and sent to the Red Deer Regional Hospital Laboratory for analysis.

An ultrasound-guided breast biopsy is less invasive than a surgical biopsy and leaves little to no scarring.

Understanding Prostate Biopsies

An ultrasound guided prostate biopsy is a procedure where a special needle is inserted into the prostate gland, with ultrasound guidance, to take a small sample of tissue from the gland. The samples are then sent to the Red Deer Regional Hospital Laboratory for testing and analysis, to determine the presence or absence of prostate cancer.

Get clear, diagnostic results

If on your recent breast imaging or prostate examination the physician detected an abnormality, you may be sent for an image-guided biopsy.

A biopsy is used to determine whether an abnormality is malignant or benign.

You may be referred for a Prostate Biopsy for three main reasons:

  1. Your prostate-specific antigen (PSA), measured through a blood test, is high or rising rapidly.
  2. Your doctor may have felt an abnormality in your prostate when carrying out a digital rectal examination (DRE), where your doctor had inserted a gloved finger in your rectum (anus) to feel your prostate for any abnormal enlargement or other abnormality.
  3. If you have a  family history of prostate cancer

Complications to watch for:

The two main risk factors for this procedure are bleeding and infection.

To minimize the risk of bleeding, patients are required to stop any anticoagulant or antiplatelet medication for a minimum of 5 days before the procedure.

To minimize the risk of infection, the procedure is performed using sterile technique and we request that the biopsy site is kept clean and dry for 24 hours following the procedure.

What to expect

Before your biopsy, you will be asked to report all medications that you are taking and whether or not you have any allergies, especially allergies to anesthesia, to your doctor.

Five days before your procedure you are to stop taking blood thinners (including aspirin), which will decrease your risk of bleeding.

On the day of your examination, you should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. You will be asked to wear a gown.

You will be awake during your biopsy. The area in question will be numbed, though you may still feel some slight discomfort.

It is important that you remain very still during the procedure.

You will be required to have a relative or friend accompany you and drive you home afterward.

Some patients experience tenderness, swelling and bruising following their biopsy. This is normal. If you notice excessive swelling, bleeding, drainage, redness, heat, or any signs of infection such as a fever, contact your physician immediately.

Downoad Prep Sheet For Guided Breast Biopsie Downoad Prep Sheet For Guided Prostate Biopsie

Still Have Questions?

If you have other Biopsy questions or concerns, please contact Tricia Adams, Biopsy Procedures Manager at CAMIS.