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Exisional Biopsy Soon

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VeeHow
VeeHow Member Posts: 33
edited April 2021 in Benign Breast Conditions

I’m getting pretty nervous about my Exisional Biopsy Monday the 9th. The nurse called yesterday and asked if had bathing instructions. I hadn’t even thought of that. I’m putting fresh sheets on the bed, have wipes for sponge baths, easy to open pain relievers. I was not given any prep instructions. Any ideas on how to prepare to make this small, yet scary surgery, as easy as possible? I t is so hard to get in touch with my surgeon. I am concerned with possible infections, scarring and you name it. Also I have been told that they will use general anesthesia which I didn’t think I’d have. I know this is similar to a lumpectomy, that’s what the surgeon called it and she is taking out the suspicious area and the margins around it. When I try to look things up on-line different sites tell me different things. What are others thoughts and experiences? I’ve been on this site several times. I guess I’m a Nervous Nelly. My best to everyone.

Comments

  • ingerp
    ingerp Member Posts: 1,514
    edited March 2020
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    Gosh—I guess I’ve had four now. It *is* a really easy surgery. Many women don’t even take any prescription pain meds afterwards. I always treated myself to them for a day or two just because I had them. No particular wound care or restrictions. I did like those little pads you put in the freezer. You stick them in your bra near the incision and they feel really good. I guess I was supposed to wear a bra 24 hours a day for a week, for the support so you don’t flop around too much if you’re large-breasted. I never made it more than a few days—just found it annoying after a while. (BTW—excisional biopsy and lumpectomy are indeed the same procedure, just technically for different reasons.)

    Really nothing to be scared of.

  • VeeHow
    VeeHow Member Posts: 33
    edited March 2020
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    I’m glad I won’t need prescription pain relievers, they make me nauseated. I’m curious, didyou have general anesthesia?

  • beesie.is.out-of-office
    beesie.is.out-of-office Member Posts: 1,435
    edited March 2020
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    Ditto what Ingerp said. I've had several of these and it is an easy surgery. I've always taken it easy for the rest of the day and have been back to most of my normal activities the next day, just being careful to not do anything that might affect my chest area - no lifting stuff or carrying heavy bags, or stretching/reaching etc.. Back in the days when they were more generous with prescribing serious pain meds, I recall getting a prescription but only using one pill before switching off to extra strength Tylenol, saving the good meds for when I really needed them (like the time I cracked a molar - now that was painful!).

    The bathing instructions will depend on the type of covering that your doctor uses. In some cases the patient is told to not shower until the surgical covering is removed. However when I've had incisions that were covered with clear surgical tape (Tegaderm), even my mastectomy, I've been allowed to shower the next day. I think when I had steristrips after an excisional biopsy, I've also been allowed to shower but told to not get the water directly onto the incision. Not sure, but in any case, you should be given instructions before you leave the hosptial, and if you aren't be sure to ask.

    As for general anaesthesia, I've had that for all but one of my excisional biopsies, and many times for other surgeries and procedures. It used to be that I would puke the instant that I would awake from the anaesthesia, but these days the anaesthesiologist can take care of that with meds that they give you at the same time as the anaesthesia. Since I've been telling the anaesthesiologist about this problem, it's never happened again. I would still always get a single wave of nausea a few hours after I awoke, but when I told the anaesthesiologist about this the last time, he gave me something else and for the first time ever, even that didn't happen. I was fine after surgery, and never got nauseous later - I kept waiting for it to happen and it never did. So if you know or think that this might be a problem, just let the anaesthesiologist know. He/she should be able to reduce the likelihood of your getting sick from the anaesthesia.

    The one warning I'll give you is not for the surgery and immediate recovery, but for a few days or weeks later. As the breast tissue fills in and the nerves regenerate, you may get either some mild aches or some sharp pains in your breast. As long as your breast looks and feels fine (no warmness or redness), it's normal.

    Good luck! You'll be fine!

  • VeeHow
    VeeHow Member Posts: 33
    edited March 2020
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    Thank you.

  • aviva92
    aviva92 Member Posts: 16
    edited March 2020
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    I kept expecting pain to come after my excisional biopsy, but it never did. They prescribed me strong pain meds, that I didn't take, nor did I even need regular tylenol. I felt nauseous right after it which subsided after maybe an hour. I was also sort of dizzy and out of it the rest of the day which I mostly slept off. You will need a person to pick you up at the hospital and should probably not be alone that one day, but after that day I was fine. It's obviously more involved than a needle biopsy, but as far as surgeries go, it's not too bad. I didn't think getting a margin was the main goal of this, so I thought it was less of a procedure than a lumpectomy, but I've read differing things about this on the internet.

    as for bathing, I was only instructed to avoid that for 24 hours after which I could take a shower and was instructed to avoid soaking the area itself.

    oh, and the only "prepping" I did was to not eat after midnight the night before, and also you won't be allowed to lift anything over 5 pounds for a week, so make sure you don't have to do that.

    I was also instructed to wear a sports bra 24/7 for a week, which I found incredibly odd since I am an A cup to begin with. They don't jiggle! I did it most of the time even though I hated it, but I suspect I really didn't need to.

  • ingerp
    ingerp Member Posts: 1,514
    edited March 2020
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    Yes—general anesthesia, but I’ve always tolerated it well.

  • casm
    casm Member Posts: 16
    edited March 2020
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    I agree with all the ladies above. The small ice packs that Ingerp mentioned are a life saver. I also purchased a zip front bra with pockets for the round ice packs. I received the wire localized excision biopsy (Nov 2018) under sedation on a Thursday, was loopy that night, but the next day was fine. Went back to work on the following Monday. No pain meds given was told to use OTC meds. Could shower on that Saturday except was told to NOT get water directly on incision any time I took a shower until the steri strips came off, was also told to let the steri-strips come off on their own and to not pull them off even if they were dangling. Ice packs for swelling and not to lift anything over 5 lbs for 7 days.

    Before surgery the hospital I went to was VERY specific about before surgery bathing was to bath with hibiclens or dial at least 2 times (night before and morning of procedure), and to focus on the surgical site. They also had me wipe with a disinfecting cloth 2 times (they provided) when I was in the hospital before surgery. They were super hypervigilant !

    Good luck and just breathe (in/out....in/out). The breathing and thinking of my happy place helped me a lot as I was super anxious and worried.

  • Auntkiki
    Auntkiki Member Posts: 3
    edited March 2020
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    Hi ladies. I had an excisional biopsy 2 days ago for an enlargening pash mass. As suggested here, I stocked up on the little ice packs. Surprisingly I was instructed no ice at all. I suppose each surgeon has their preferences. I feel like they would have helped and wish I could have used them! I didn’t want to take Percocet, so I was only using Tylenol for the first 48hrs, today I switched to Advil.
    Good luck with your surgery, I feel very relieved now that it’s over, I hope you will too!

  • VeeHow
    VeeHow Member Posts: 33
    edited March 2020
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    Do you know where you can get the little ice packs if they don’t give me any? They sound perfect.

  • aviva92
    aviva92 Member Posts: 16
    edited March 2020
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    I didn't need the ice packs since I didn't have pain. They gave me a little ice pack for my needle core biopsy though, but not my exisional biopsy even though it's much more involved. I might have used that ice pack a little when the bandages started to itch in order to control the itching after having the bandages on for almost a week.

    I didn't know that you're not supposed to remove the steri strips yourself. I was told to keep them on for a week after the bandages were taken off or if sooner, let them fall off themselves. I wound up keeping them on for 9 days and at day 9 noticed that my wound was leaking! The steri strips were nowhere near falling off though. I wanted to investigate so I removed the steri strips. Apparently wound leaking is normal, but since it was still leaking after all the bandages were off and it was over 2 weeks after the excisional biopsy, I needed to have the wound drained. So, that's something else to watch out for. It doesn't hurt and I don't think it is particularly dangerous since it is just excess fluid draining, not blood, but it can make your clothes messy.

  • VeeHow
    VeeHow Member Posts: 33
    edited March 2020
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    It does wonders for me just hearing what others have gone through and what they suggest. Thank you all. <

  • aviva92
    aviva92 Member Posts: 16
    edited March 2020
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    oh, as to where to get the little ice packs, I had one left over from my needle core biopsy that was given to me by the medical facility, which I barely needed, but if you want to be ready in case you do, I think you can probably just order something off of amazon. mine was a little round plastic like container with beads inside that you put in the freezer. It looks something like this:

    https://www.amazon.com/Round-Cold-Packs-PACK-Breastfeeding/dp/B0186F3O2G/ref=sr_1_9?keywords=ice+packs+for+breast+surgery&qid=1583601931&s=hpc&sr=1-9

  • VeeHow
    VeeHow Member Posts: 33
    edited March 2020
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    Thanks for the advise and your experiences

    Up to date...I'm home as of 6:00 last night after leaving before 6:00 yesterday morning. That makes almost 12 hours at the hospital. A little bit worse for the wear. I'm a bit unsteady still but don’t have much pain so just over the counter stuff for me. For those who have or think they might have to have MRI surgical guide wires inserted pre-surgery I would suggest anti-anxiety meds. It was a long time getting 2 wires put in and a couple mammograms Pre-op took much longer than the surgery. I felt sick to my stomach and cold and really shaky during and after pre-op. Surgery went fine. It would gone much quicker without the pre surgery procedures though. If anyone would like to hear more about it just let me know. If this doesn't make a lot of sense. Sorry if some of this doesn't make sense, I just got up and have anesthesia running through my brain.






  • aviva92
    aviva92 Member Posts: 16
    edited March 2020
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    I'm not sure why surgeons use the wires these days. Maybe there is a reason though that I don't know about. For my excisional biopsy, my surgeon had a scavi-scout put in instead of the wires and I thought the nurse said that she basically never uses the wires. The scavi-scout is put in up to a week before surgery, but mine was put in the day before. Putting in a scavi-scout was a really easy procedure and seemed much easier than the wires to me. You don't feel it at all once it is in. It's tiny. So when I got to the hospital for my excisional biopsy itself the next day, there were no pre-surgery procedures. I just had the surgery and that's it.

  • VeeHow
    VeeHow Member Posts: 33
    edited March 2020
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    I had clips put in during my biopsies but the clip on my ADH moved. After that happened I don't know if they could have used something different. Maybe since they had to put it in while I was face down on the MRI machine made a difference. (I have very dense breast tissue.) They originally found the ADH lump during an MRI. I'm really not sure if this was the only way to locate this lump after the clip moved.

  • VeeHow
    VeeHow Member Posts: 33
    edited March 2020
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    I really must have still been out of it when I posted my last post yesterday.I still am a bit shaky and confused. Probably not enough sleep.) I reread my post and it barely, if any makes sense. Pain is worse but not bad enough to take prescription pain killers. Keeping my nice snug bra on helps. But It’s Over!!!

  • sadwife
    sadwife Member Posts: 4
    edited April 2021
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    Hi all, I might end up needing an excisional biopsy/lumpectomy soon and am already worried. The pain seems tolerable from what everyone is saying here. But I have very small breasts and two lumps measuring around 1.7 cm in diameter each. Does this significantly change the shape and appearance of breasts?