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What is a Biopsy?

There are 4 types of biopsy

  • Fine needle biopsy
  • Core biopsy/trucut biopsy
  • Stereotactic biopsy
  • Open surgical biopsy

Key points

  • Fine needle biopsy does not require a local anaesthetic. Very little pain, if any, is experienced afterwards.
  • Local anaesthetic is always used prior to core biopsy. One or more samples (passes with the needle) are usually taken.

What happens afterwards?

The tissue removed is always sent to a pathologist. The results usually take between two to three working days to become available. You will be asked to either phone your doctor or return to see them to find out your results. Often when a lump is aspirated and proves to be a cyst (collection of fluid) no pathology is necessary.

Learn more about
Types of biopsy
What do my tests mean?

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