Wound Care – Breast Core Needle Biopsy


  • You may remove the dressing after 24 hours.

If you have a pressure dressing (tight wrapping of the area over the wound dressing) you may remove it in two to four hours.

  • Keep your wound clean and dry.
  • During the procedure, you had local anesthesia injected under your skin. The numbing effects will last one to two hours. After that, you may experience some mild soreness.
  • You may shower or have a sponge bath on the day of the procedure, but be careful not to scrub the area around the puncture.
  • For women, we suggest that you wear a sports bra to help keep pressure on the wound and decrease the chance of a hematoma (blood collection) for the first 24 hours.
  • If your surgeon prescribed an antibiotic ointment, apply a thin layer to the wound after cleaning it and then put on the dressing.
  • If you feel pain, you may take 200-400 mg of ibuprofen every four hours as needed or one to two tablets of acetaminophen (Tylenol) or paracetamol every four hours as needed for the pain. Inform your doctor if you need a prescription.

Call your doctor if:

  • The wound becomes increasingly red or swollen;
  • There’s pus coming from the wound;
  • You have a fever of over 38 °C (100.4 °F);
  • You have any other concerns.


  1. Can I have shower on the day of my biopsy?

Yes, you can. We provide a waterproof dressing for you, and you can take a shower with it on. It is okay to let water run over the wound, just do not soak your wound in water, as this may hamper wound healing.

  1. If I go to the beach next week, can I swim?

Please do not soak your wound in water before it heals. Wound soaking time for swimming might be too long even for your waterproof dressing, so the safest way is to avoid swimming, hot tubs, and baths until the wound is completely closed, usually after three to four days.

  1. Will I have sutures?

Most core needle biopsies do not require sutures. If you will require sutures, your doctor will let you know.

  1. 4. When will the results be ready?

Your pathology results usually take three to five days. If you had your biopsy before the weekend, please allow extra time. The doctor will call or email you with the results. If you prefer to be told the results in person, please tell your doctor and let the nurse know to make another appointment for you in one week.

  1. Will the biopsy area be sore?

Yes, you can expect some soreness and some bruising after the procedure. The bruise may take several days or one to two weeks to clear. To help this, you may apply ice to the area (not directly, use a wash cloth to protect the skin or use the ice bag you may have been given).

  1. Is there going to be a scar?

There may be a small scar at the incision site. To prevent further scarring, avoid sun exposure to the scar in the first six months to one year. If you do go in the sun, use high-SPF sunscreen. Ask your doctor for more details or their recommendations.

  1. Can I exercise after my biopsy?

Yes, after the wound is closed. However, you must not undertake strenuous exercise for three to five days. After that, the area will likely be sore but it is okay to resume your normal exercise habits. You may walk immediately; this is a healthy form of exercise.

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