Low Prices vs. Safe Health Care
Traveling abroad for low priced health care raises the question: Is dental tourism—from dental fillings to root canals—safe for US patients? Unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer to the question, because safety is a combination of factors. However, there are ways to reduce the safety risks during health travel, including being aware of your surroundings and being (or at least appearing) savvy. The rapid growth of dental tourism in the past decade has the American Dental Association exploitingRead more…
What Is a Breast Biopsy?
A breast biopsy is the collection of breast tissue taken from a lump, cyst, or abnormal growth to test for the presence of cancerous cells. Some lumps are benign (non-cancerous) and others are malignant (cancerous) and the biopsy determines the type of growth. There are four main types of breast biopsies: fine-needle aspiration biopsy, core needle biopsy, stereotactic biopsy, and an open biopsy.
Who Should Receive a Breast Biopsy?
Blood tests will often be administered in order to evaluate the health of the patient before a biopsy. Allergies, especially to anesthetics, should be revealed immediately to the health care practitioner, as well as any other difficulties you yourself think you will have with the operation. Such common problems include bleeding or ingestion of blood-thinners. Examples of blood-thinners include aspirin, heparin, or warfarin (coumadin). It is important for the health care provider also to be aware of pregnancy and any medication you are taking at the time. This is standard procedure, and the doctor will outline what you both need to know weeks before the operation.
How Is a Breast Biopsy Performed?
In a fine needle aspiration biopsy the doctor will apply a local anesthetic to the breast and then insert a needle. An ultrasound will then be used to guide the needle into the right area. A core needle biopsy also requires a local anesthetic, the difference being that an incision is made in the skin while a needle is inserted to collect a sample. A stereotactic biopsy is a more complex operation. It requires a local anesthetic, a small cut, and an x-ray to guide the needle, with several samples collected. An open biopsy requires a general anesthetic, a sedative, and an IV line.