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Date: 29 May 2023

Time: 02:47

Breast Services: common procedures performed

There may be a need to carry out further tests. Some of these tests can be uncomfortable; every effort is made to minimise any discomfort or distress that may be caused.

Some of the main tests carried out are listed below. It is possible that you may not require any of these tests.


A mammogram is a breast X-ray. The breast is compressed between two special x-ray plates. Some women find this uncomfortable but it only lasts a few seconds.

Ultrasound scan

An ultrasound scan uses high frequency sound waves to produce an image of the breast. The scan is painless and only takes a few minutes.

Fine needle aspiration (FNA)

The doctor will take some cells from the problem area with a needle for analysis. If your problem is a fluid filled cyst, the fluid will be withdrawn at this point, and the cyst will disappear. If the lump is solid, the cells will be placed onto a slide for analysis.

Core cut biopsy

Should this test need to be performed, you will receive a local anaesthetic, and a tiny incision is then made in your skin. A small biopsy device is inserted, which extracts a small piece of breast tissue for close examination.
The results from this test are not available at your first visit, as they take a number of days to process.

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