Core biopsy

Core biopsies are a less invasive procedure than an excisional biopsy.

Diagnosis using core biopsy

This is the most common type of biopsy and is similar to a fine needle aspiration (FNA), but it uses a slightly wider, hollow needle to remove a small piece of breast tissue from the area of concern.

Advantages of core biopsy

Removing a piece of tissue, rather than just cells allows the pathologist to examine any areas of concern in detail and it often gives more information than fluid and cells taken by an FNA. It is less invasive than an excisional biopsy and will leave no scars.

What to expect during a core biopsy

You will be given a local anaesthetic to numb the relevant area, and once it takes effect a small nick or cut is made in the skin and the biopsy needle is carefully inserted.

Usually, a few samples are required and you may hear a clicking noise as each one is taken.

It may feel slightly uncomfortable but the local anaesthetic will stop it feeling painful.

Once the samples have been taken, the area will be pressed on firmly to help reduce any bleeding and bruising and then it will be covered with a dressing. The area may feel sore for a few days following the biopsy, but it should soon clear up. We will fast-track your biopsy results to ensure you know the outcome within a week, sometimes sooner, and will contact you with details of a follow-up appointment to discuss them.

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Little Aston Hall Drive, Sutton Coldfield, B74 3BF

+44 (0)121 514 1185


300 Park Avenue, Aztec West, Bristol, BS32 4SY

+44 (0)1454 642801


Fordham Rd, Newmarket CB8 7XN, UK

+44 (0)1223 633 664


Springfield Cancer Centre, Lawn Lane, Chelmsford, CM1 7GU

+44 (0)1245 676 351

Cromwell Hospital

164-178 Cromwell Rd, Kensington, London SW5 0TU, UK

+44 (0)203 613 9355


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+44 (0)1156 762 989


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+44 (0)1865 224 884


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+44 (0)23 9280 0102


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+44 (0)1753 465 493