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Mammogram vacuum assisted biopsy

kmcin28kmcin28 Member Posts: 59
edited June 2018 in General discussion
I had this procedure on the advice of Breast Screen before diagnosis. Haven't heard much about others having it. It wasn't pleasant. 


  • kmcin28kmcin28 Member Posts: 59
    Mammogram Vacuum assisted biopsy. The brain fog is bad tonight.
  • lrb_03lrb_03 Member Posts: 1,260
    I have heard of it. A friend had it done, and was quite traumatised. Her description sounded awful. That's the only time until now that I've heard of it. 
    I hope you're healing after it. When was it done?
  • kmcin28kmcin28 Member Posts: 59
    After my call back from Breast Screen, I had a core biopsy, the doctor there then recommended this procedure (vac assisted biopsy) before I saw a surgeon. It was about a year ago. I was diagnosed with DCIS and following this I had a mastectomy (right breast) of the three lymph nodes removed one was affected, back for another surgery where another 17 nodes removed  (all clear). 6 months of chemo, at the moment treatment is Hercepton every 3 weeks and Letrozole. I was just curious because I haven't heard of it much and yes it was quite traumatic, it was done without anasthetic and through quite a deep cut.
  • VallerinaVallerina Member Posts: 183
    hi @kmcin28. Yes I had 2 of these a couple of days apart. I had 2 grainy spots on the mammogram they werent too worried but did the vaccum biopsy on the largest just to be sure. When I got diagnosed high grade dcis I had to go back for a second vaccum biopsy on the other spot which came back same result. This was also at the breast screen clinic which was in the hospital. From there straight to the surgeons, long story  My Gp never had anything to do with my BC from start to end. She actually rang much later and was very upset saying the head doctor at the clinic  had received my results from breastscreen but had never let her know. She said if she had known she wouldve rung and tried to help me through which was nice.
    The tumour  ended up being a 7cm DCIS resulting in right mastectomy last March then recon with an implant then nipple recon and tattoo this year. Lucky my nodes were clear and nothing invasive found, so no rads or chemo or hormone therapy.
    I also found the biopsy very traumatic and scarey , they tell you not to move but it goes off as loud as a nail gun. Cried a lot, and was prettty sore and bruised for a few weeks. Bad memories, all in the past now. I had actually pretty much forgotten all about it now, trying to blank out the whole awful experience.
  • kmcin28kmcin28 Member Posts: 59
    Hi Vallerina, my surgeon was surprised about the lymph node and quite upset that he had to operate again, I  wonder if it wasn't for that would I have been able to bypass the chemo etc. I am her2+. I am sorry you didn't have the support of your GP l have been fortunate with most of my medical team. I am considering recon after treatment is finished. I have doubts though, my sister said why would you put yourself through another surgery. Oh well I still have a few months to think about it. I've never been shot, but I'm sure that experience was close to it.
  • j9kj9k Member Posts: 98
    I had a vac assisted biopsy. It was awful and totally without dignity. I had to lay face down on something like a massage table with a hole in it where you drop your breast into. The breast is then clamped in place, you are given local, after which incision is made and biopsy taken. Intermittent mammograms are taken to ensure the samples are taken from the right place. I had a lovely breast care nurse that held my hand and talked to me all the way through - it took about 30mins. I had a nice chair to sit in afterwards, ice packs and the BC nurse to  check on me and talk to me but it was awfully traumatic. 48hrs later results confirmed large dcis and I'm now 4wks post mastectomy. The procedure was very traumatic. 
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,974
    kmcin28, decisions to have reconstructions are highly personal. Only you can say if you want one or not! Some are happy to be flat and fabulous, some just don't want the trauma of another sugery, while others need to have something on their chest to be happy. Some say no and change their minds a couple of years later. It's all OK but it's your decision and yours only.

    You can join the Choosing Breast Reconstruction to get an (excellent in my opinion) idea of what the different types of reconstructions entail. You can ask any question under the sun, check out some photos and get great advice.

    All the very best, and I hope you recover soon from the trauma of what sounds to be an awful procedure. Big hug, K xox
  • kmcin28kmcin28 Member Posts: 59
    j9k It's not great news to get is it. Do you have to have further treatment? I am glad they found my cancer in its early stage but wish there was a less traumatic way. To make matters worse I think I was one of the first patients and they were just learning with the new machine. I had mine done at a radiology clinic, very impersonal. However life goes on and that was over 12 months ago. All the best for your recovery.
  • kmcin28kmcin28 Member Posts: 59
    kmakm Thank you  I will have a look at Choosing Breast Reconstruction. I am still finding my way around this site but am happy I joined, all of you are so supportive. The vac biopsy was over 12 months ago but I was curious because I hadn't heard of anyone else having it. By the answers on here it's a diagnostic test to find DCIS as that seems to be the common thread . I know I should have asked more questions but not easy when you are trying to process it all.
  • j9kj9k Member Posts: 98
    Thanks @kmcin28. I don't need further treatment. Lymph nodes were clear and because it was dcis removal of breast was sufficient. It is my 3rd round of BC. First 2005- lumpectomy, chemo, radiation (1node involved) ; then 2009 mastectomy, 1node involved, axillary clearance, chemo. I'm very gun-shy with any procedure now as opposed to becoming more resilient because of how many I have had. The vac biopsy was the worst I've ever had.

    I wish you well with you treatment and reckon decision. I am in awe of the women here who have gone through reconstruction. I am just not brave enough and too frightened of complications. I didn't reconstruct after first mast, and don't think I can now. I guess that doesn't mean never, but I just don't have the physical and mental resources required. I wish you the very best for whatever you decide.  :)
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 5,148
    @j9k I have just read your very honest post.  There's no right or wrong in the decisions we make.  It is about being comfortable in your own skin so to speak!

    As to the vacuum biopsy, goodness, it does sound a very uncomfortable process.  When we are told we need this biopsy or that or whatever we tend to trust the medicos and can be a bit surprised by the discomfort that we feel and say hey you didn't tell me that part.  It's a little like the medication and the side effects, which are briefly mentioned, but damned they can be a little uncomfortable until the body adjusts.

    Take care
  • kmcin28kmcin28 Member Posts: 59
    j9k This terrible disease and its treatments sure knocks out poor bodies around doesn't it. You've been through so much no wonder you're
    gun shy with any new procedures. I am in two minds about recon, I find the prosthesis uncomfortable especially in summer, but I am to self conscious to go out with out it, so that might sway my decision, but I do worry about complications of further surgery.

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