Does anyone know the difference between a tissue biopsy and the stereoptic kind? My dr. told me that my BIRADS4 calcification requires a tissue biopsy. Still have a month to wait to see the surgeon, and wondering is driving me crazy. Also, if it is cancer, can waiting so long be a bad thing? Thanks.
Hi tallgirl... it's me again, iam1butterfly. First, thanks for extending the invitation of friendship... I'm glad to accept. Remember those 2 mammograms that I told you about, in response to your previous posting? Well, both required biopsies. The first, (2005) was surgical; the second (2007) was stereotactic. So, I have firsthand knowledge about both procedures. The surgical is more invasive in that you are placed under sedation (in my case, I was fully sedated... "knocked out"... as they say). The suregeon then cuts and removes a grouping of calcifications plus, a bit of surrounding tissue. That sample then goes for testing. You'll be left with some swelling and bruising... my breast looked as though it had been in a fight! The after pain (in my case) was minimal, mostly soreness. Also, there's a chance for infection at the wound site which, I did have. But, it cleared in a week. The scarring is also minimal. I was left with a very fine line 1 inch scar. And, I was left with a stiffness or hardness along and around the scar due to the development of scar tissue. After complete healing, I gently massaged the scar area with vitamin E oil (nightly) for about 6 months; and, that stiffness softened and went away. The stereotactic approach utilizes a needle that probes the area where the calcifications appear. In this process, a local anesthetic is used. When the tissue sample is removed, a microchip/ clip is inserted in its place. The chip/ clip remains inside you for the rest of your life and, is used a maker or reference point that'll always show up in future mammograms. I felt no pain, only a bit of pressure from the needle probe. I had no infection, although there was that possibility. And, I was left with a barely noticeable puncture scar that now looks like a dimple. To my understanding, both approaches render the same or similar results. I had to have the surgical biopsy because my 2005 calcifications were situated in an awkward area, where the needle probe couldn't reach. In your case, I not sure why the surgical approach. Maybe, your past history warrants it; and, your doctor feels that the results would be more conclusive. Or, maybe, like me... the calcifications are hard to reach with the needle. Too bad you have to wait so long to resolve all of this. Best wishes to you.
I am glad to hear from you. Thanks for explaining things for me. I had a surgical biopsy on the tumor I had in 2002, which was no problem. I wouldn't mind if this one was the same. I find that alot of women have the stereoptic type and need the surgical biopsy afterwards anyway. My calcifications are on the chest wall at 12:00. It may be hard to get to. I would think they can see more if the whole area is looked at. It is so hard waiting for this surgeon, but I hear he is the best around. I just worry that I missed 4 mammos. Oh well....will just have to wait. I hope you are doing fine. It must be very therapeutic to help others, as you do. I hope when I am more relaxed with this situation, I will be able to help women with their fears too. Anyway...thanks again. Talk to you soon.
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