What is breast aspiration?

Breast aspiration or fine needle aspiration is a procedure that uses a fine gauge needle and a syringe to sample fluid from a breast cyst or remove clusters of cells from a solid mass. With this procedure, the cellular material taken from the breast is sent to the pathology laboratory for analysis if needed.

Where is breast aspiration offered?

Breast aspiration is offered at the Women’s Imaging Center.

What to Expect

The skin of the breast is cleaned with antiseptic. The procedure is usually done under image guidance using either stereotactic mammography or ultrasound. Stereotactic mammography involves using computers to pinpoint the exact location of a breast mass based on mammograms (x-rays) taken from two different angles. The computer coordinates will help the physician guide the needle to the correct area in the breast. With ultrasound, the radiologist will watch the needle on the ultrasound monitor to help guide it to the area of concern. Breast aspiration does not require stitches and can be performed on an outpatient basis. A very small bandage is placed over the area after the procedure. Many patients resume their normal routine the same day of the breast aspiration procedure.

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