Suggestions When Having a Breast Biopsy

By Helen M. French, BSN, ADN/RN, an operating room nurse to whom ALL life is precious.

BREAST CANCER SURGERY: PLEASE, take note of several critical suggestions, I have for any “woman or man” who is having a “breast/s biopsy”: As simply as I can state the “surgical aspect/s”: If a biopsy is being done just on ONE breast, suggest/request that your “surgeon” ONLY does the “BIOPSY” and then waits for a “permanent” tissue result, which will only take the lab 2 or 3 days. It is my opinion, that a “frozen” biopsy, i.e. a quick lab result, which usually takes about 45 minutes, has more of a chance of producing a “false positive”. The “argument”, that is often exposed, is that YOU will have to come back for a second procedure, etc etc, BUT, in my opinion, as an operating room RN, who has “circulated and/or scrubbed” on many breast cancer cases and mastectomies, I believe that it is worth the hassle. It is very possible that the “first” specimen i.e. the one under going a “frozen” test, could be incorrectly read/diagnosed by the lab tech/pathologist or even “mixed up” with someone else’s breast biopsy/tissue. Please ,also remind your surgeon that the “specimen”, whether IT is going to the lab as a “frozen” or one that has been placed into a jar of “formalin per the doctor’s orders, while in the OR room, that IT is CLEARLY marked with “ones name/with middle initial, date of birth, medical number as well as their “surgeon’s name”, along with the actual date of the procedure and the “location of the specimen”; IF the “OR” is using their hospital labels, the information on the label still has to be correct. # Secondly, CONFIRM with YOUR OR RN Circulator and with your surgeon, before surgery the “correct” breast IF just ONE is being operated on. Even though, the OR RN Circulator, the surgeon and the entire OR team is to “verbally confirm the “correct site” of any surgical procedure, before making any incision, if I was the patient, I would mark the “correct” breast with an ink pen that does not wash off. # Thirdly, a very critical issue, but not the end, IF IF IF one is having a biopsy on both breasts, I stand by my “preceding remarks”, BUT, also mention to the surgeon before hand, to make sure that “TWO” mayo trays are “set up/being used” by the “scrub person”!!! I.E. ONE “mayo tray” for the “right breast” and ONE “mayo tray for the “left breast”. NEVER should just ONE “mayo tray”, on which, the scissors, forceps, mono-polar cautery, sponges, etc are on, ever be used on “both”. IF, there are cancer cells in any of the specimens taken, cancerous cells can be transferred over to the “side” which has NO cancerous cells. (I.E. pic is a generic image of breast cancer cells); Dear Facebook readers, be safe, blessings, frenchie i.e.

Leave a Reply