An open breast biopsy is surgery to take a sample of breast tissue. A breast biopsy may be done to check a lump found during a breast examination. Or it may be done to check an area of concern found on a mammogram or ultrasound. The breast tissue will be sent to a lab, where a doctor will look at the tissue under a microscope to check for breast cancer.
Your doctor may have some answers right away. But it can take up to 1 to 2 weeks to get the final results. Your doctor will discuss the results with you.
For a few days after the surgery, you will probably feel tired and have some pain. The skin around the cut (incision) may feel firm, swollen, and tender. The area may be bruised. Tenderness usually goes away in a few days, and the bruising within 2 weeks. Firmness and swelling may take 3 to 6 months to go away.
The stitches in your incision may dissolve on their own, or the doctor may take them out 7 to 10 days after surgery.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
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 call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter F607 in the search box to learn more about "Open Breast Biopsy: What to Expect at Home".
Current as of: May 12, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Laura S. Dominici, MD - Surgery, General Surgery, Oncology
©2006-2018 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.