Cytology

Cytology means looking at cells under a microscope.

Using ultrasound guidance, a breast physician uses a very thin needle to collect a sample of cells from the area of concern. Local anaesthesia ensures that this procedure causes minimal discomfort.

The sample is analysed immediately by our on-site breast pathologist. Together with our breast physician, the pathologist will make a diagnosis or suggest a further biopsy.

The woman receives a preliminary result immediately.

Core biopsy

Similar to a fine needle biopsy, this is done with ultrasound guidance, after injecting a small amount of anaesthetic to numb the area. This kind of biopsy collects more tissue than a fine needle biopsy.

Unlike fine needle biopsy, results are not available immediately, but are provided at a follow-up appointment after 2 or 3 working days.

Stereotactic core biopsy

If an abnormality can be seen on the mammogram but not on the ultrasound, this type of mammographically guided needle biopsy might be necessary. It may avoid a surgical biopsy.

It is performed using local anesthetic to numb the area. A tissue marker the size of a sesame seed is placed in the breast tissue after the procedure to mark the site of biopsy for future reference.

As with core biopsy, the pathology results are not available immediately, but generally take 3 to 5 days to become available. Results are given to the woman at a follow-up appointment.

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