Why is ultrasound-guided breast cyst aspiration done?
Breast cysts are fluid-filled sacs that are usually not cancerous. These round or oval lumps usually feel like a water balloon, but they can sometimes be solid.
Ultrasound-guided breast cyst aspiration is done to:
- Find out whether a breast cyst is cancerous (a biopsy)
- Treat the cyst if it is large and painful or uncomfortable by draining the fluid.
What is an ultrasound-guided breast cyst aspiration?
Ultrasound-guided breast cyst aspiration is done using imaging with sound waves (ultrasound) to guide a breast radiologist in draining fluid from the cyst with a fine needle. The needle is thinner than the one used for blood tests. This is an outpatient procedure.
How do I prepare for an ultrasound-guided breast cyst aspiration?
Before your breast cyst aspiration
7 days before your breast cyst aspiration, stop taking:
- Vitamin E
- Over-the- counter medicines containing aspirin, Motrin, and Advil
- You can take Tylenol
If you are on aspirin therapy or a blood thinner (e.g., Coumadin):
- Check with your doctor before stopping this medication
If you take Coumadin, you’ll need lab work (INR and PT) 1-2 days before the biopsy
- Call your doctor if you have any questions about your current prescription and over-the- counter medicines
On the day of your breast cyst aspiration
- Don't wear deodorant, powder, lotion, or perfume under your arms or on your breasts
- Don't wear jewelry
- Wear a comfortable sports bra for support after the biopsy
- A two-piece outfit may be more comfortable.
What should I expect during the test?
- You'll undress from the waist up and put on a gown.
- You'll lie on a table face up or turned slightly to the side.
- A specially trained breast radiologist will perform your breast cyst aspiration.
- Ultrasound images will be taken to precisely guide placement of the needle, which is thinner than a needle used to take blood samples.
- The radiologist will use the fine needle to draw out fluid or small pieces of tissue.
- You'll be awake and should have little discomfort.
How long does an ultrasound-guided breast cyst aspiration take?
What should I expect after the test?
After a breast cyst aspiration, you may have:
- Bruising or discoloration
- A little oozing or droplets of blood on the dressing or skin
- Mild pain or discomfort and fullness at the biopsy site
On the day of the procedure:
- Put an ice pack on the biopsy site for 30 minutes of every hour until bedtime.
- Take Tylenol as needed every 4-6 hours for pain.
- Wear a sports bra.
For 5 days after the procedure, do not take aspirin or any medicines that contain aspirin (Motrin or Advil).
- Avoid strenuous activity for 24-48 hours.
The next day:
- You can go back to your normal activities, including work.
- Remove the dressing.
- Do not remove the steri-strips (thin tape), which will fall off on their own (if the tape doesn’t fall off
after 7 days, you can take it off).
- Shower but avoid scrubbing the biopsy site hard.
If you have:
- Excessive bleeding, put firm pressure on the biopsy site for at least 20 minutes. If this doesn’t stop the bleeding, call us during regular business hours.
- Excessive pain, discharge, redness, swelling, or warmth, call us during regular business hours.
- If you have a concern outside of normal business hours, please call your physician.
When will I get the results?
The radiologist doing the procedure will let you know if a sample will be sent to the pathology lab for analysis. If so, it takes about 3-5 days to get the results from the pathology lab.
We’ll send the results to your doctor right away. Your doctor will discuss the results with you.