Ultrasound-Guided Breast Cyst Aspiration

Where is breast cyst aspiration done?

Breast cysts are fluid-filled sacs that are usually not cancerous. These round or oval lumps typically feel like a water balloon, but they can sometimes be solid.

Our team at Hillsborough Radiology Center performs ultrasound-guided breast cyst aspirations 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.

Why would you do a breast cyst aspiration?

  • Find out whether a breast cyst is cancerous
  • Treat the cyst if it is large and painful or uncomfortable by draining the fluid

How to prepare for an ultrasound-guided breast cyst aspiration

Before your breast cyst aspiration

7 days before your breast cyst aspiration, stop taking:

  • Vitamin E
  • Aspirin
  • Over-the- counter medicines containing aspirin, such as Motrin and Advil
  • You can take Tylenol

Patients taking aspirin or a blood thinner (e.g., Coumadin) should check with their doctor before stopping this medication.

Patients taking Coumadin will need lab work (INR and PT) 1-2 days before the biopsy.

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
  • Wear a two-piece outfit may be more comfortable

What to expect during the test

  • Patients will undress from the waist up and put on a gown.
  • Patients will lie on a table face up or turned slightly to the side
  • A specially trained breast radiologist will perform the breast cyst aspiration
  • Ultrasound images will be taken to precisely guide placement of the needle
  • One of our radiologists will precisely guide a fine needle to draw out fluid or small pieces of tissue
  • Patients will be awake and should have little discomfort
  • It typically lasts 30-60 minutes

What patients may experience after a breast cyst aspiration

  • 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 five days after the procedure, do not take Aspirin or any medicines that contain aspirin, such as Motrin or Advil. Avoid strenuous activity for 24-48 hours.

The next day:

  • Patients can return to their 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 seven days, patients can take it off
  • Shower but avoid scrubbing the biopsy site hard

Hillsborough Radiology will send the results to the patient’s primary care doctor right away.