Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is it better to have open or closed biopsy?"
I am a 32 years old woman and just found a suspicious area in the mammogram. My doctor has recommended an open biopsy, but I have heard from othe rdoctors that closed biopsy has some advantages. Which one should I prefer?
There are many differences between the two types of biopsy methods. In terms of their ability to obtain the appropriate tissue to obtain a diagnosis, this is a discussion that is best had with your surgeon. In terms of the general differences between the two procedures, a closed biopsy is done with a needle that is passed into the breast tissue using a variety of techniques, including stereotactic guidance, CT guidance, and ultrasound guidance. Regardless of the modality used to guide the needle, the main benefits of this procedure are that they can be done with local anesthetic (you do not need to go under general anesthesia), a very small amount of tissue is removed, and there is generally no residual scarring along the breast. In terms of an open biopsy, this is usually done under general anesthesia, a small incision is made and the breast tissue is visualized and removed using a variety of techniques. The main benefits of this procedure are that with more tissue removed, the ability to make a diagnosis is improved. The drawbacks of this include the postoperative pain, and scarring as well as the post anesthesia effects you may experience. Of course, this discussion is best to be had with your breast surgeon because they will be able to assess your medical history and discuss your specific concerns.
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