Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Does your boob hang low, does it wobble to and fro?

Today was the biopsy. Right now I have an ice pack on my boob and am eating Aleve for the dull ache I'm having. They showed me the x-rays, which had 2 spots of calcification, one close to the nipple (which caused the most concern). Again they reminded me that 80% of calcifications are not cancerous but if it is cancer, it has been caught very early this time. The procedure was fairly quick as it was completed in under an hour. The process was as follows:

1. I laid face down on a moveable exam table and the affected (right) breast was positioned into a hole in the table.
2. The table was then raised as the procedure is performed beneath it.
3. The breast was compressed and held in position throughout the procedure.
4. A local anesthetic was injected into the breast to numb it.
5. Several stereotactic pairs of x-ray images were taken.
6. A very small nick was made in the skin at the site where the biopsy needle was to be inserted.
7. The radiologist then inserted the needle and advanced it to the location of the abnormality using the x-ray and computer generated coordinates. X-ray images were again taken to confirm that the needle tip was actually within the lesion.
8. Tissue samples were then removed using the vacuum-assisted method. It made a "grinding" noise, causing me to wonder if he was grinding my boob off! With a vacuum-assisted device (VAD), vacuum pressure is used to pull tissue from the breast through the needle into the sampling chamber. Without withdrawing and reinserting the needle, it rotates positions and collects additional samples. At least eight to 10 samples of tissue were collected from around the lesions. The suction reminded me of a breast pump!
9. After the sampling, the needle was removed.
10. A final set of images were taken.
11. A small marker was placed at the site so that it can be located in the future if necessary.
12. Once the biopsy was completed, pressure was applied for 10 minutes to stop any bleeding.
13. Then the opening in the skin was covered with a dressing.
14. A mammogram was then performed to confirm that the marker was in the proper position. Unfortunately, compressing it made it start to bleed!
15. My chest was then wrapped to keep pressure on the site to stop the bleeding.

I am told that the results should be back in 2-3 days so keep your fingers crossed!

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