Breast Biopsy Procedure

Find a Location
A physician’s recommendation that you need a breast biopsy may raise concerns and cause anxiety. At Nuvance Health, our care teams typically offer quick "detection to diagnosis,"  often in 48 hours. In most cases, patients who need to have a breast biopsy can have it performed at one of our breast centers and typically receive their results within 48 hours.

Nuvance Health care team members and breast coordinators work with your referring doctor on procedure preparation and will provide a referral to a Nuvance Health breast surgeon if needed. Nuvance Health has many fellowship trained breast surgeons available throughout the region.

A breast biopsy procedure may be done using ultrasound, MRI or low dose computer assisted mammography (stereotactic guidance).


  • Do you need anesthesia for a breast biopsy?  

    Yes, a local anesthetic is applied to numb the biopsy area. You are awake during the breast biopsy procedure and the radiologist* and technologists will be conversing with you during the exam.

  • How long does a breast biopsy take?  
    It will vary depending on which method of biopsy your doctor recommended. In general, an ultrasound guided breast biopsy is quick, usually less than 20-30 minutes.

    A stereotactic guided biopsy is more technically involved and generally takes about 45-60 minutes.

    An MRI-guided breast biopsy usually takes about an hour because of the multiple steps involved to ensure the accuracy of the exam.
  • Will I be able to eat and return to my normal days activities afterwards?  

    Yes. Most everyone can go back to their normal activities after the procedure. Activities such as lifting of heavy objects and exercise should be postponed for 24 hours following the biopsy procedure. You can eat and drink normally but you should refrain from blood thinners, like aspirin.

*In the spirit of keeping you well-informed, the physician(s)/individual(s) identified are neither agents nor employees of Nuvance Health or any of its affiliate organizations. These clinicians render services to Nuvance Health patients under an agreement with Nuvance Health. These clinicians retain independent medical judgment for all services rendered.