Caring for Yourself After Your Image-Guided Breast Biopsy

This information will help you care for your biopsy site after your ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or stereotactic breast biopsy.

Caring for Your Biopsy Site

  • Keep the bandage on your biopsy site until the day after your biopsy.
  • Leave the Steri-Strips (thin strips of paper tape) on your biopsy site. If they have not fallen off in 3 days, you can remove them.
  • You may shower 24 hours after your biopsy. Remove your bandage before showering but leave the Steri-Strips in place. Let the shower water run over your biopsy site. Gently pat it dry with a clean towel. You don’t need to put another bandage on your biopsy site after you shower, unless there is any drainage. If there is, place a clean bandage (Band-Aid®) over your biopsy site.
  • You may have swelling and bruising after your breast biopsy. Apply an ice pack to your site for 10 to 15 minutes several times during the first 24 to 48 hours after your procedure to help reduce swelling. The bruises and swelling should go away on their own in about a week.
  • If you have any bleeding from your biopsy site, apply steady pressure with a gauze pad. If the bleeding becomes heavy or doesn’t stop, call your doctor.
  • Wear a tight-fitting bra to help support your biopsy site and make you feel more comfortable. Your radiologist will let you know if you need to wear any special type of bra after your biopsy.
  • For 3 days after your biopsy, do not:
    • Lift anything heavier than 5 pounds (2.3 kilograms).
    • Do any strenuous exercises, such as running or jogging.
    • Bathe, swim, or soak the biopsy site under water. You may shower 24 hours after your biopsy.
  • You should receive your biopsy results 3 to 5 business days after your procedure.

Taking medications

  • If you have pain after your biopsy, you can take acetaminophen (Tylenol®) as directed. Avoid taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain. They can cause bleeding.
  • If you take medications to thin your blood (such as aspirin or other anticoagulants), you can take them after your procedure on the same day, as long as you aren’t having any significant bruising or bleeding from the site. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions.
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