Ultrasound-Guided Breast Procedures
A clinical breast exam and screening mammogram help doctors look for changes in breast tissue. But such procedures cannot establish a cancer diagnosis or be used to treat breast conditions.
Instead, medical professionals rely on ultrasound-based procedures for the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer and other breast conditions. At Cayman Islands Surgery Center, our extensive experience, multidisciplinary team and state-of-the-art facility mean our patients concerned about breast health are in good hands.
Ultrasound-Guided Breast Biopsy
A biopsy is a procedure where doctors remove tissue to be sent for laboratory testing. This type of procedure is usually performed to diagnose or rule out cancer. When diagnosing breast cancer and other breast conditions at Cayman Islands Surgery Center, we often use a minimally invasive technique called ultrasound-guided core needle biopsy.
During an ultrasound-guided biopsy, Dr. Ebanks uses a sharp, hollow needle and ultrasound image guidance to locate abnormal breast tissue and take out samples.
The procedure is complete usually within one hour, and you will be sent home on the same day. You may apply cold compresses and take over-the-counter pain relievers if you experience any discomfort. Your biopsy test results will probably be ready within five to seven days.
Also called Tru-cut or core needle biopsy, this procedure involves the following steps:
- 1You will lie down on an operating table.
- 2Your doctor will locate the abnormal area on an ultrasound.
- 3You will be given a local anesthetic.
- 4Once the area is numb, your doctor will make a small incision.
- 5The core needle is then guided toward the treatment site.
- 6The dual spring system cuts tissue into a sampling chamber.
- 7Your doctor will apply pressure to stop bleeding.
- 8Your doctor will cover the incision with adhesive strips.
Benefits of Ultrasound-Guided Breast Biopsy
Ultrasound-guided breast biopsy has several advantages over an open biopsy:
- Minimally invasive and quick procedure
- Done on an outpatient basis with a short recovery time
- Does not involve the use of x-ray radiation
- Allows doctors to reach any area of the breast
- Minimal scarring
Because doctors take up to 10 samples during this type of biopsy, the results obtained with this procedure are highly accurate.
Fine-Needle Aspiration of Breast Cysts
If a clinical exam, screening mammogram or diagnostic ultrasound shows an unusual mass, your doctor may suggest a fine-needle aspiration (FNA) to see if this mass is a fluid-filled cyst or solid growth. Your doctor may also suggest an FNA to treat breast cysts. During the FNA procedure, your doctor aspirates (suctions) fluid with the help of a fine-gauge needle and ultrasound imaging, just like during a biopsy. If the aspirated fluid is clear and the lump disappears immediately, your doctor can diagnose a breast cyst right away. If the fluid is blood-tinged or the lump does not change, your doctor may need to send the collected samples for further testing. FNA for breast cysts is usually performed when the cysts are particularly large and/or painful. Several rounds of treatment may be necessary since breast cysts have a high recurrence rate. If an FNA fails to provide relief, we may suggest a core needle biopsy or surgery like an open biopsy.
Benefits of Ultrasound-Guided Fine-Needle Aspiration
Ultrasound-guided FNA for breast cysts has a couple of advantages:
- Allows doctors to diagnose and treat breast cysts right away
- No need for further testing if the treated lump is indeed a cyst
- Minimally invasive with little to no downtime
- No need for large incisions
- Minimal to no scarring
- Low risk of complications
Just like an ultrasound-guided biopsy, this procedure is performed with a local anesthetic on an outpatient basis. This means you can get back to your usual routine within a day or two after this procedure.
Preparing for Your Procedure
Dr. Ebanks will give you guidelines on how to prepare for your ultrasound-guided procedure during one of your appointments. Your instructions will depend on your general health, whether you are taking any medications and the type of procedure being performed. Generally speaking, most patients are advised to:
- Tell the doctor about any medications they’re taking, including supplements
- Speak to their doctor about any recent illnesses or operations
- Mention any allergies, especially to anesthetics
- Stop taking blood-thinning medications for a period before the procedure
Most patients can drive themselves back home after the procedure since it is done under local anesthesia only.
Be prepared to take time off from strenuous physical activity for a couple of days following your procedure. You will need to wear a supportive bra for a few days.
Request a Consultation With Dr. Ebanks
If you’re concerned about a new lump or have painful breast cysts, we invite you to make an appointment with Dr. Tanja Ebanks at Cayman Islands Surgery Center.
Dr. Ebanks has worked in private practice as a General Surgeon and Vein Specialist in Grand Cayman since 2006. She also specializes in providing diagnosis and treatment for an array of breast conditions. To learn more about ultrasound-guided procedures, call Cayman Islands Surgery Center today at +1 345 946 0067. You can message Cayman Surgery directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
What are the risks of breast cyst aspiration?
Breast cyst aspiration comes with few risks, most of which are minor. A breast cyst aspiration procedure is usually only followed by pain and minor bruising. In some cases, patients may develop hematoma or infection at the treatment site. Allergic reactions to the local anesthetic is another rare adverse reaction.
What are the risks of ultrasound-guided biopsy?
Ultrasound-guided biopsy risks include pain, bruising or hematoma. Some patients may develop an infection at the treatment site, which can be managed with antibiotics. Occasionally, patients have an allergic reaction to some of the medication used during the procedure, especially anesthetics.
Does an ultrasound-guided breast biopsy hurt?
The procedure will be done under local anesthesia. After a slight initial stick and a burn you will not feel pain during the procedure. However, you may feel a little bit of discomfort. Patients sometimes report a feeling of pressure when the doctor inserts the biopsy needle.
Is a breast fine-needle aspiration painful?
FNA of the breast is not a painful procedure. Since this procedure is done under local anesthesia, patients don’t feel any pain. You may feel mild discomfort and pressure when the doctor inserts the aspiration needle. Some pain may occur in the hours to days after the procedure.
Who performs ultrasound-guided breast biopsies?
Interventional radiologists usually perform ultrasound-guided biopsies. General surgeons such as Dr. Ebanks are often also trained to perform image-guided procedures.
Who interprets the results of the ultrasound-guided biopsy?
Biopsy samples are sent to laboratories where pathologists examine them under a microscope and perform other tests to diagnose or rule out cancer. Our samples are sent out to Vitro Molecular laboratory in Miami.