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
- 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.