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A core needle biopsy is a test to take samples of tissue using a needle with a special tip. The samples are looked at under a microscope to check for changes in the cells.
A core needle biopsy is done to check for cancer or other problems. It is often done to check a lump found during an exam. It's also done when an area of concern is found on a mammogram or other imaging. Sometimes the biopsy results help plan treatment.
If you take aspirin or some other blood thinner, ask your doctor if you should stop taking it before your test. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do. In some cases, you may be asked to not eat or drink before your procedure.
You may feel only a quick sting from the needle if you're given a shot to numb the biopsy area. You may feel some pressure as the biopsy needle removes samples. But if you have general anesthesia, you won't feel anything during the procedure.
A core needle biopsy can take 15 to 60 minutes. It may take longer depending on what part of your body is being tested. It also depends on the type of anesthesia used or if you need to be monitored afterward.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if you have any problems.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your test results.
Current as of: September 8, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Kara C. Taggart MD - Urology & W. David Colby IV MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
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