Feeling a new bump or change in your breasts can be frightening, because your first thought may be that the growth is due to breast cancer. However, it’s important to remain calm and see your doctor, who can refer you to an imaging center in San Antonio for a definitive diagnosis. When a mammogram or other imaging exam reveals a breast cyst, your radiologist may recommend ultrasound-guided breast cyst aspiration, which is a simple, outpatient procedure. Ultrasound imaging is ideal for guiding the procedure, because ultrasound provides images with real-time movement using high-frequency sound waves, which do not expose the body to ionizing radiation. If your doctor has recommended this procedure, read on to learn some basic facts that will help you prepare.
Breast cyst aspiration is minimally invasive.
During a breast cyst aspiration, a needle will be guided to the cyst, and it will withdraw fluid from inside of the growth. The procedure only requires a small needle stick, so it does not carry the same risks as more invasive surgeries or biopsies. On the day of the procedure, you should wear comfortable clothing, avoid deodorant and perfume, and be prepared to spend about an hour under the radiologist’s care. The breast will be numbed to reduce any discomfort.
The procedure is not necessarily indicative of breast cancer.
Having a breast cyst does not mean that you have breast cancer. Benign growths in the breasts are common, and these are often the cause for aspiration procedures. Even if cancer is detected, your diagnosis may come earlier than it would have without this testing, so your prognosis may be greatly improved.
Results from aspiration are not immediately available.
Like other imaging procedures, breast cyst aspiration does not have immediate results. Your radiologist will share the results of the test with your doctor, who will inform you of the outcome. Results are determined in part by the color of the fluid removed from the cyst, as the absence of blood will indicate that the growth is likely non-cancerous.