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Excisional biopsy of the breast (lumpectomy)

Occasionally after a breast biopsy (generally done by a radiologist), the pathologist will still not be sure about the diagnosis. They may suggest that your doctor refers you for a specialist breast surgeon opinion, with a view to considering a surgical biopsy.

A surgical or ‘excisional’ biopsy gives the pathologist more tissue to examine under the microscope, so they can be more confident about the diagnosis. This usually requires a general anaesthetic.  A surgical biopsy is not the same as surgery for a breast cancer. Generally, the amount of tissue removed for an excisional biopsy is much smaller than that for breast cancer surgery.

Sometimes you cannot feel an abnormality that has been found on an ultrasound or mammogram. If this is the case, you may need the abnormal area removed after it is ‘localised’ with a hookwire. You can read more about hookwires here.

Dr Lancashire will discuss what your biopsy findings mean, what your options are, and whether he recommends a surgical biopsy for your condition.