Breast Diagnostic Tests

Core Needle Biopsy

A Core Needle Biopsy (CNB) uses a spring-loaded needle (thicker than an FNAC) to take a small core of tissue from a breast lesion. As the tissue is intact as opposed to individual cells, more information is derived from this type of test. This test is performed by the consultant breast radiologist under ultrasound guidance. Alternatively, this test can also be done under x-ray guidance if deemed appropriate by the consultant breast radiologist (see Vacuum Biopsy).

What to expect?

An injection of local anaesthetic prior to the CNB is always necessary. Once the anaesthetic has taken effect, ultrasound is used to guide the needle into the region of interest. The biopsy is usually done 2-3 times with the needle being removed between each biopsy. It is necessary to press hard on the site of the biopsy following the procedure to minimise any bruising. However, many patients will develop a bruise over the next 24-48 hours. Small steri-strips and a dressing will be placed over the wound at the end of the procedure. Most patients find a needle biopsy quite comfortable and uncomplicated. The cores of tissue are sent to the lab for analysis and a pathology report will be sent on to your referring doctor within approximately 72 hours. During our One Stop Breast Clinics, rapid analysis of core results can be performed for all women attending. This enables us to give you as accurate and complete diagnosis as possible by the end of your appointment.

For further information and appointments please contact us on:
+44 (0) 20 7234 2009,