Biopsy – The Mining Expedition

by Heather

This is more or less what my biopsy needle looked like.

The day after seeing the breast surgeon my husband, son & I went out of town to attend our family reunion, so I didn’t really have time to worry about whether or not the radiology department at the hospital called me right away.

As it turns out, they did call me on the actual day of the reunion, Friday.  I was slightly surprised when they put me on the line with the actual doctor who would be performing the biopsy, and he talked to me about the procedure, and gave suggestions to occupy my time in the waiting room – just in case the preceding procedures ran long.   They were able to schedule it for Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the 26th of June, I arrived at the imaging & radiology department at my local hospital.  After being called into a little nook to  fill out the appropriate paperwork at an uncomfortable desk (it had NO leg room, and, for someone who jokes about not needing leg room at five-foot-nothing, that’s saying something), I went back out to the waiting room.  I brought my Kindle – named Kimdle – at the suggestion of the doctor.  But, surprisingly, didn’t even get through one short chapter of Around The World in 80 Days before being called back in for my own procedure.

The nurse who came to get me, coincidentally, is named Kym.  She was very nice and showed me the changing room, where I did the same old waist up undressing.  After I was in the procedure room and she had my vitals, she was kind enough to walk me through the procedure a 3rd time.  I almost felt like I could do it myself.  Well, not really.  But it was comforting to actually know what was going on as it was going on, and sometimes before.

Kym told me that the doctor is tall, so she raised the gurney, and raised it and raised it.  When the doctor came in, I saw why.  He IS tall.

The doctor reclined the head of the gurney so that I was flat on my back with my left arm behind my head.  Then he located the mass with the ultrasound.  And, after sterilizing the area, injected the anesthetic into the site.

I was looking at the ultrasound image the entire time, and not the doctor – not that I could see what he was doing anyway on the underside of my ample-ness where he was working.   I could see the needle (like the one pictured above) on the ultrasound, and could hear the snap of the “grabber”.  He took 3 samples, then left a metal clip in me near the mass that will serve a future purpose.

Upon completion of the procedure, an order was put in for a new stat mammogram.  And while I waited in my clothes from the waist down and in a hospital gown from the waist up Kym & I chatted about her name, mine and my cousin’s.

When the mammography tech came in, she introduced herself as, you guessed it, Kim.

Another less-than-comfortable mammogram, and I was free to go home, and wait for my results appointment with the Breast Surgeon in 2 days.

Biopsy site after 4 days. I bruise easily, so a little thumbprint-sized bruise at the site is way good after the horror stories I had read about.