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Is Scarless Breast Surgery a Possibility?

Whether benign or cancerous, having a lump in your breast can be terrifying. In such a case, your healthcare professional may decide to take a sample of your tissue or cells to help them identify the composition of the lump or identify if the lump is cancerous. The removal of tissue or cells for analysis is called a biopsy.

People generally think twice before taking a biopsy since it leaves behind scars that can last a long time, sometimes even for life which can make you feel uncomfortable in your skin. Excision of a benign lump in a young lady inevitably leaves a scar which is not acceptable today. But, what if we tell you that there is a medical procedure that leaves no scar/scars behind? Will that change your mind about a biopsy?

Well yes, scarless breast surgery or biopsy is now a possibility with Vacuum-Assisted Breast Biopsy or Vacuum-Assisted Core Biopsy.

Now, you don’t need to think twice about those scars to find out if you have breast cancer or not!

What is Vacuum-Assisted Breast Biopsy?

VABB is a tissue sampling technique which is lately gaining popularity over traditional biopsy technique since it allows surgeons to remove more tissue through a single incision (3 mm in size) and is a much less invasive procedure than an open surgical biopsy.

It is a diagnostic tool for managing breast lumps and other breast abnormalities. It uses a special instrument/equipment and imaging technique to remove the samples of breast tissue through a single, minor skin incision on the site (breast).

What happens during a Vacuum-Assisted Breast Biopsy?

Vacuum-Assisted Breast Biopsy is a minimally invasive medical technique performed under local anesthesia, and it leaves behind a small incision which does not require stitches for closure.

The procedure begins with a mammogram exam to locate the area of abnormality within the breast. There are different systems for performing the vacuum-assisted biopsy like stereotactic mammography (mammograms taken from different angles), ultrasound, and MRI which are hundred percent successful in identifying the abnormal areas to be sampled.

In the procedure, a mammogram is done followed by an ultrasound to know the exact site of the lision and to plan the closest site for the instrument to make an incision on the breast.

Once the area of abnormality is detected the radiologist and the surgeon strictly prohibits any movement and asks you to stay as still as possible. After images have been taken to confirm the correct position of the biopsy site, your healthcare professional cleanses the overlying skin with an antiseptic liquid and injects local anesthesia into the skin and breast tissue to numb it so that you don’t feel any pain.

Once the anesthesia starts working up, a small (2-4 mm) incision is made in the anesthetized skin, and the needle is inserted by the radiologist to collect enough samples for examination. In a few cases, a small titanium marker clip (2 mm) is inserted into the region of abnormality with the biopsy needle so that the area is easy to locate later if surgery is required.

After this minimally invasive procedure, a sterile dressing is applied to the site of the incision on the breast to promote healing and to protect the skin from any infection. The Instructions on how and when to remove the dressing will be explained by your breast surgeon.

Instead of a mammogram, Vacuum-Assisted Breast Biopsies can also be performed under ultrasound guidance and MRI guidance.  For ultrasound guidance, the procedure doesn’t differ much, except that you will be asked to lie on your back on an ultrasound bed instead of placing your breast between the mammogram compression plates. And for MRI guidance VABB, the procedure is similar to that of a mammogram, but a needle will be placed into your arm, and a liquid dye is injected during the scan.


An individual is recommended for VABB if she has:

  • A benign breast lump- Fibroadenosis less than 3mm in size
  • Multiple Breast Fibroadenosis
  • Recurrent Fibroadenosis
  • Excess of persistent painful spots in the breast

Does VABB have any after-effects?

A few women usually experience breast bruising and tenderness after the procedure. Simple analgesia is generally prescribed to the patient for quick pain relief. As no stitch is placed in the skin incision or cut, VABB is a scarless breast surgery and is usually recommended for young ladies who are body conscious.

Why choose Cytecare?

Cytecare is one of the leading hospitals in Bangalore when it comes to breast cancer treatment and screening. Dr Poovamma C U, the Senior Consultant and Director – Breast Oncology of Cytecare, has over 13 years of experience in dealing with Breast oncology.

Cytecare provides you with a comprehensive and holistic treatment and cares with services including breast cancer risk assessment and screening, breast imaging, breast cancer surgery (lumpectomy, mastectomy), breast reconstruction, breast conserving surgery and support services for women living with breast cancer. With Vacuum-Assisted Breast Biopsy sufficient specimen is obtained with a single insertion and it can also provide a more accurate diagnosis when compared to a traditional biopsy. It is scarless and a minimally invasive procedure.