This involves taking a tiny sample of tissue (cells) through a needle. The needle is guided into place using ultrasound.

The sample is sent to a pathology laboratory where it is analysed. Results are usually available in 2 to 3 days. The report will be sent to your referring doctor who will give these results to you.

The pathology company may charge a gap for these services. Please discuss this with us if you have any questions.


You will be positioned in the best way to access the area to be biopsied. The area will be cleaned with antiseptic and local anaesthetic administered. A tiny incision (cut) will be made in the skin before the core needle is inserted with ultrasound guidance. It is often necessary to make more than one pass of the needle to obtain a sufficient sample.

Before your Scan

Please tell us if you are on medication to thin your blood (e.g. Warfarin, Aspirin or Clopidogrel). You may need to stop this medication before the procedure, but only after you have discussed it with your doctor.

Specific Requirements

It is essential that your previous mammogram and ultrasound films are available at the time of the biopsy. Please bring these with you to your examination.

Risks / Side effects

Potential risks include:

  • Infection at the needle site. An aseptic technique (strict infection control practices) is used to minimise the risk of infection.
  • Bleeding: mild bleeding in the area may cause it to swell, which should subside naturally over the course of a few days. Rarely, excessive bleeding can occur into the biopsy site and may require drainage.
  • The needle may puncture a blood vessel.
  • Bruising: there may be mild bruising at the site.

The biopsy may not get an adequate sample of tissue, which may require you to have a repeat biopsy.

Other Information

  • Steristrips and a waterproof dressing will cover the incision.
  • The outer dressing should remain in place for at least 24 hours; the steristrips are left to gradually lift off after a few days.
  • You will be given an ice pack to use to reduce bleeding and discomfort.
  • You may eat and drink immediately after the procedure.
  • Avoid strenuous activity for 24 hours after the biopsy.
  • You may have some discomfort after the procedure. If needed, a simple analgesic such as paracetamol (Panadol) should provide some relief. Do NOT take Aspirin.
  • A small ice-pack applied to the area may help settle any pain.
  • Bleeding and infection are potential complications. If you notice any increased redness, swelling, fever or pain, notify your referring doctor or immediately call the clinic where the injection was performed.

 If you have not been contacted about your results in 1 to 2 weeks, please contact your referrer.

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