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Bruising after MRI biopsy

joyko Member Posts: 6

I had an MRI guided biopsy done on my left breast 10 days ago --- and it is really bruised!  The outer portion is black and blue, and I have a darker rim under the breast which my surgeon said was blood that had pooled there after the surgery.  The surgeon looked at the breast on Tuesday of this week - and didn't seem concerned.  Has anyone ever had this happen to them?  Also, my breast now has an area that feels 'hard' when I touch it....and I'm starting to freak out over this....

 If someone can address this with any experiences you've had --- it will certainly be appreciated!



  • dsj
    dsj Member Posts: 4
    edited March 2010

    I had a bad bruise after my stereotactic biopsy and now have another ugly bruise after my lumpectomy.  The bruise is adjacent to the incision.  The surgeon for the lumpectomy said it was where he put the numbing medicine in.  I think the same must have been true for the biopsy, since it was also adjacent to where the bandage was.  In the course of getting second opinions, etc. several doctors saw my biopsy bruise and two have now seen my lumpectomy bruise.  No one has expressed any worry.   The biopsy bruise had faded completely by about a month post-procedure  One doctor said ice would help the bruising fade, but I never seem to get around to it.

  • ctmom1234
    ctmom1234 Member Posts: 22
    edited March 2010

    Absolutely don't panick, the bruising is normal and I think it has something to do with the person doing it more than the procedure (like when you give blood and sometimes you get a nasty bruise).

    I had an ugly and large bruise days after my left breast stereo biopsy but then I had a right breast MRI-guided biopsy the following month and not a mark left except a teeny incision scar (never a bruise ever). That first bruise from the stereo evolved into a hard piece -- maybe scar tissue? -- after the green and purple color passed and I still had it two months later when I had the left lumpectomy surgery (and was removed in that process). Breast surgeon did comment that it was normal to get so bruised and the hard spot didn't bother him, but I suspect it never would have completely gone away.

     With so much stress, this is just more thing, I know.  Good luck with the healing.

  • sweatyspice
    sweatyspice Member Posts: 13
    edited March 2010

    I had both a mammo guided biopsy and an MRI guided biopsy.  I had no healing issues with the mammo.  The MRI, however.....I had bruising and a painful hard area.  The bruising went away in a few weeks, the painful hard area took a few months.  It might be a hematoma, or possibly scar tissue.  I saw a lot of Drs during that time, none of them were concerned.  It's crappy, but it's probably within what's considered normal.  Don't panic. 

  • flickyd
    flickyd Member Posts: 1
    edited March 2010

    Hi dsj!

    Yes, I had the same - and no-one warns you about it, so you are convinced you are dying! The bruising will go away but it takes a while - you must understand that there is all sorts of healing taking place on the inside that we can't see, but it seems to come out in random bruises.  The lump you can feel is probably internal scar tissue from the surgery - I too have a lump where the original surgery was done in December. The other thing it could be is fat necrosis - when they operate they cut off tiny blood supplies so little sections of tissue die off slowly. It is benign and shouldn't need treatment unless it forms a huge lump and it worries your surgeon, but it's all part of the dcis journey. I am 5 weeks post-op after a partial mastectomy and reconstruction and wake up every day wondering what fresh bruising there is - sometimes there is none, but every few days I have a new 'boobscape'!

    They should warn you that this disease comes with it's own built-in hobby and time-consumer  - the health and welfare of your breasts, something which you never had to worry about before, and now the anxiety is always just under the surface.

    Hope you recover quickly and uneventfully!

  • joyko
    joyko Member Posts: 6
    edited March 2010

    I don't know how I would be getting through all of this without all of you!!!  Thanks so much for making me feel calmer about the bruising and the hard lump I now have!!!  My doc never called me back on it --- so without you.....I would still be a nut case today!!!

    Enjoy the beautiful day ---- and thanks again!


  • ctmom1234
    ctmom1234 Member Posts: 22
    edited March 2010

    flickyd: What you wrote is soooo on the mark that I'm quoting it below:

    "They should warn you that this disease comes with it's own built-in hobby and time-consumer  - the health and welfare of your breasts, something which you never had to worry about before, and now the anxiety is always just under the surface."

    Oh, so true, so true . . .

    jokyo: Glad you are feeling better.

  • djmammo
    djmammo Member Posts: 1,003
    edited March 2010

    I personally perform hundreds of breast biopsies a year.

    Some people bruise and some people dont.

    Of those who bruise some do so more than others.

    It often feels hard. It is common and not harmful.

    It depends a great deal on patient individual differences.

    It is best to stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen etc before the procedure (if not contraindicated) to decrease the chance of bleeding and bruising. 

  • kingdom
    kingdom Member Posts: 2
    edited April 2011

    Hello, I had an MRI guided biopsy and the bruising was pretty scary.  I wasn't told anything about what could or would happen after the procedure.  So thanks for the information.  I was really worried.  I see my Dr. tomorrow for the results.  Take care ya'll.  God Bless.

  • HelloPatty
    HelloPatty Member Posts: 1
    edited May 2011


    What you have is a hematoma as a result of the biopsy. I developed one as a result of my biopsy in February. The needle nicked small blood vessels caused internal bleeding, it has pooled and probably hardening in your breast. It may take months for the blood to be reabsorbed. In the meantime, it may remain hard and in my case, painful. I found that a warm compress helped a little. I had an excision of the DCIS last week and the surgeon removed the hematoma at that time. Unfortunately,no one prepared me for this either. They always say "we don't know who that will happen to", so they tell you nothing. But I think preparing a patient for all eventualities is important. Afterall, you are already frightened enough. So when something happens post-procedure you are likely to freak-out. Hope all goes well for you.

  • Emaline
    Emaline Member Posts: 37
    edited May 2011

    Yep yep yep...I was not prepared for this at all. Turns out I had a hematoma. The surgeon drained it twice but it is still there. It will be removed with my mastectomy.  I hate it. I haven't had a decent night sleep since my biopsy on April 1st.

  • rjmo2
    rjmo2 Member Posts: 1
    edited May 2011


    This has been a emotional roller coaster for me. I had excisional breast biopsy last week. I returned to work,but noticed a huge bruise yesterday with slight pain. I called the office and they tell me this is normal. It seems like I am having to learn everything on my own, because they really do not tell you much about what all will possibly happen as the result to the surgery.  

  • bluewillowskys
    bluewillowskys Member Posts: 268
    edited May 2011

    I also had terrible bruising and a hardened lump from my stereotactic biopsy of my right breast. It took about a month for the bruise and the lump to go away. It looked dreadful. After my lumpectomy and had very little to no bruising and on the 3 rd day after I felt like I never even had a surgery. But then I overexrted myself and strained the muscles on the upper part of my breast at my incision site. My breats swelled up to about 3 times is normal size in about 5 minutes from a bad hematoma. The pain was REALLY bad. I was rushed into the ER and then surgery to remove the hematoma. I lost a unit of blod. This time it took me more then a week to recover and feel semi normal again. I was really tired and weak from the blood loss. But I learned my lesson about the over exerting myself and took it much slower and easier after the second surgery. ANyway, i had both ends of the bruising from the lumpectomy, but major bruising with the biopsy and then when i over did things.

  • Bailee4
    Bailee4 Member Posts: 4
    edited May 2011

       I am so glad that you started this thread Joyco.  I am booked for a MRI guided biopsy this Thursday and after reading what Bluewillwskys went through I will be ready for anything (and take it easy with the lifting etc) You are a very brave group of women.  Arlene

  • Lalaland0522
    Lalaland0522 Member Posts: 1
    edited July 2012

    Thank you to everyone for posting. I am 3 weeks post stereotactic biopsy and my breast is still a mess. The surgeon delayed my lumpectomy to allow healing, so the whole process is dragging out longer than I'd hoped. Given what I've read here I think I may have a hematoma because I have a large area not near the incision that us still extremely dark purple.

  • tstone
    tstone Member Posts: 1
    edited October 2012

    I am so relieved to hear others stories about the bruising after stereotactic biopsy.  I had a biopsy done on my right breast this past Monday and had no forewarning about the horrible swelling and bruising I could expect.  The pain was unbelievable and my breast is still swollen and moving from shades of dark purple to yellowish green with the hard lump around the incision site that some of you have described.  I have been terrified, even though my test results were benign and that was a relief, my breast is a mess and hurting so much.  I can't believe this is so common and no one is warning women about this when they agree to have this procedure. I plan to go to the women's center where I had my mammogram and talk to someone there about this.  No one should have to have this much anxiety after such a traumatic procedure.  This has truly been an eye opening experience.  Thank you all for your honest and forthright information.  You have my deepest respect and well wishes. 

  • ruthrh
    ruthrh Member Posts: 1
    edited February 2013

    I need to say that this is very upsetting to read.  After my biopsy, I was in a great amount of pain.  The doctor's office refused to call in any medication saying it was unusual and I needed to go to their emergency room (a 45 minute drive and $150 copay) to get any medication.  At the time, the area was covered by a large bandage so I didn't know about the bruising.  Now I see's nasty and is quite hard.  They certainly should have known this was possible and been willing to prescribe pain medication without requiring me to ride in a car (bumps and all) when I was already hurting.  Anyway, thank you for letting me know that it is normal though.  I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow and plan to bring this issue up.

  • ctmom1234
    ctmom1234 Member Posts: 22
    edited February 2013

    Wow, I wrote on this thread nearly 3 years ago and it is still actively helping women understand that these scary things are NORMAL and our doctors should have warned us about them. I'm really glad we've been here for each other, and wishing you all smooth sailing from here on out. 

  • nicoleaeg
    nicoleaeg Member Posts: 1
    edited May 2013

    Thank you so much for starting this conversation. I wasn't at all prepared for the bruising I've experienced post mri guided biopsy. It seems to only be worse after two weeks but knowing others experience the same thing really helps. This is my first time on this site and as I go through a double mastectomy soon, I will certainly be back.

  • Nancyinct
    Nancyinct Member Posts: 17
    edited May 2013

    I had 3 MRI guided biopsies in one day. Two on the right and one on the left. I had already had 1 previous biopsy on the right as well. I experienced bruising and swelling that lasted for a couple of weeks. After the first biopsy I developed a hematoma the size of a walnut which is almost gone now. The biopsies themselves were not painful and the pain afterwards was tolerable for me. I only needed Tylenol to take the edge off the first night.

  • ballet12
    ballet12 Member Posts: 66
    edited May 2013

    My breast is still hard as a rock from the stereotactic core biopsy done one year ago.  I had three lumpectomies after that, and it didn't change.  Rads didn't change it either.  Seeing the breast surgeon tomorrow for one year follow-up.  I'll see what she says.  She thought there was a seroma there at one point, but didn't see it during the surgeries.  I think those localized biopsies are the most stressful.  For the core biopsy, a machine punches a column into you which removes tissue.  I also heard that the MRI-guided biopsies are the most painful.  Luckily never had to do that, but came close.

  • djmammo
    djmammo Member Posts: 1,003
    edited March 2020


    "My breast is still hard as a rock from the stereotactic core biopsy done one year ago. I had three lumpectomies after that, and it didn't change"

    Were the three lumpectomies you had after the biopsy, on the same breast as the biopsy?

    Just curious.