What is Ultrasound-Guided Cyst Aspiration

Ultrasound-guided cyst aspiration is a highly accurate way to evaluate those suspicious masses, and it can help determine whether an area in question is in fact a cyst (non-cancerous) or an increased density of solid tissue (mass). This cyst aspiration procedure can prevent the surgical removal of normal tissue, and eliminates the radiation exposure inherent in using X-Rays to locate a lesion or mass.

It is important to know that most abnormal findings detected during a mammogram are not cancer however; biopsies are the only definitive way to find out whether the abnormality is cancerous. This process can be done with Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (3D Mammography) or 2D.

Preparing for your Cyst Aspiration

Before your cyst aspiration, you may eat a light meal. You may choose to have a family member or friend come with you to this appointment (Note: Only clinical staff are allowed in the procedure room). It’s best to wear a comfortable two-piece outfit as you will be removing clothing from the waist up and be provided with a gown. We recommend that you bring a supportive bra to wear following the biopsy.

If you are taking an anticoagulant medication such as aspirin, Warfarin (Coumadin), Clopidogrel (Plavix), or any other medication that affects the clotting ability of your blood, it may be necessary to stop taking it prior to the cyst aspiration. If you are taking any of these medications, please inform the prescribing doctor of your upcoming biopsy and they will determine if the medication should be stopped, and for how many days. If you are taking Warfarin (Coumadin), a blood test called an INR will need to be done at your doctors office the day of the cyst aspiration. The result needs to be below 1.3. Please have your doctor’s office call in the INR result to our technologists at (952) 915-4327. On some occasions, the doctor will have their patients take a ‘bridging medication’ called Lovenox, when Warfarin has to be stopped and an INR test will still need to be completed.

What to expect during your breast biopsy

You will lie on a soft exam table. The technologist will apply a warm gel to your breast. A handheld Ultrasound wand called a Transducer will then be used to scan your breast. This will produce a moving picture of your breast tissue on a computer providing guidance for the radiologist.

The radiologist will confirm the area for the cyst aspiration and then cleanse your breast with an antiseptic solution. Your breast will also be sprayed with numbing agent followed by a small needle to inject additional numbing medication. Once this is done, the radiologist will make a small incision in the skin for the biopsy needle to enter the breast tissue. Ultrasound Guidance will be used throughout the procedure. You may hear a slight clicking sound as the cyst aspiration device obtains small samples of tissue. After 5-10 samples are taken, the radiologist will place a tiny titanium or stainless steel marker at the biopsy site.

After your cyst aspiration procedure

After your cyst aspiration, firm compression will be applied to your breast. A bandage will then be applied to the biopsy site. Next, you will be taken into a room where a gentle Mammogram will be performed to confirm placement of the marker. You will then get dressed and be provided an ice pack to place over the biopsy site. Beverages and a light snack will be available at this time.

You may reapply a cold pack on your breast for 20-30 minutes at a time to relieve swelling, bruising, or discomfort within the first 48hrs. You may bathe or shower as usual the next day after the biopsy. A post cyst aspiration instruction sheet will be provided for your care at home along with the phone numbers to reach staff during and after business hours.

When will I receive my results?

Biopsy results are available the following business day between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. If the biopsy is done on a Friday, the results will be available Monday afternoon.

The radiologist, your doctor, or a CRL staff member will call you with the results and discuss further follow-up if necessary.

If you have any questions or concerns about your biopsy or breast health in general, Call CRL Women’s Imaging at (952) 915-4320 (M-F, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). If outside imaging center hours, call (952) 285-3750.