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Stabbing pain from biopsy

Hello all,

I've just had my second biopsy on my right breast, which was fortunately negative. I'm high risk due to several family members having had breast cancer, which is why I'm checked every six months.

This biopsy, however, was horrible. I told the doctor I wasn't completely numb, but she told me that I was just feeling pressure. I wasn't. The last (I think) pass, I felt everything. Screamed in pain and Jumped. I think I said I don't feel well, but the next thing I remember clearly was lying horizontally with an ice pack behind my neck and a fan blowing on me while a tech held pressure on my breast. The doctor was nowhere to be seen.

It's been nearly a month, and I still can't go without a bra at all. If I lean over, bend over, move too quickly, etc., I get sharp, burning, stabbing pains through my breast that take my breath away. I feel like my breast is being sheared off. Even walking too quickly can set me off if I'm not careful - forget stretching to reach something above my head or running. I talked to my doctor and told her my experience; she downplayed it and told me that fortunately I was negative and a little pain is a small price to pay for that. She said to just keep wearing my bra and to take Tylenol for the pain. Tylenol does nothing. I expected bruising, maybe a bit of stiffness in my arm since it was so close to my armpit. But this seems excessive. My last biopsy was nothing like this.

So my question…has anyone else had this kind of pain post-biopsy? This seems extreme to me. I've even resorted to wrapping my chest with the ace wrap they sent me home in, just to get a little relief. I'd appreciate any help and guidance.





  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,887

    @leigha We're so sorry to hear about this pain you're experiencing. What a scary and negative experience, the procedure and the ongoing pain and discomfort.

    Do you suspect that when you jumped, it affected the procedure? While it can take several weeks to heal, perhaps you could consider scheduling a second opinion with another doctor in a few weeks, in case the pain is still there?

    We're here for you!

  • leigha
    leigha Member Posts: 2

    Thank you for the suggestion; I have been wondering if when I jumped, it injured something. I even asked about that but it was downplayed. A second opinion is an excellent idea if things don't begin to resolve. Thank you so much; I'm so glad I found your site.

  • needs.a.nap
    needs.a.nap Member Posts: 162

    Dear @leigha. Wow! That’s just not very nice of your doctor. I would be tempted to write a letter describing the incident to the hospital or doctor’s office where you had it done. Just as you described it here. They need feedback like that. I’m sorry!!

    I flinched or maybe made a little sound on one pass during my core biopsies when I felt a little something and my doctor was concerned and asked if I felt it and she was like, let me give you more numbing stuff. Yes, please! Of course I could feel pressure and tugging but I was very numb and thankfully didn’t feel any pain after that. I can’t even imagine!!

    However, my one biopsy site did end up having a big bleed and formed a large, painful hematoma (it was spectacularly purple-red bruising that was still there two months later but faded somewhat, when I had my mastectomy). That was pretty painful. I iced it a lot and wore the compression wrap for about a week I think then started using heat and wore a snug sports bra that helped it feel better. I don’t remember mine being sharp, stabbing pains, I think it was just more very tender, achy and bruised feeling and I couldn’t bend over without pain. I guess I’m not really surprised if the needle went askew when you jumped that it hurts so much. The tissues and nerves up in our breast/armpit area can be incredibly sensitive!! My other biopsy site was fine, with almost no bruising or pain. As I mentioned, mine was still somewhat bruised and tender two months later when they removed my breast. Healing takes a long time and as damaged nerves heal, the doctors keep telling me I can have all sorts of discomfort and random pains (especially in my armpit after they removed a few lymph nodes there) … and I have had a variety of random sharp pains.

    Having no medical qualifications, I can’t say if your pain is “normal” and that things are healing well for you … a doctor would need to assess you. But that was just my experience. I’m so sorry you had such a painful experience with your biopsy! I hope you find the pain and discomfort lessening with time. Take care of yourself and maybe keep it gently compressed to help with the pain.

    I’m currently all compressed again after having just had a reduction surgery and my implant put in and things are painful and tender again so the gentle compression actually feels good. I get to stay compressed for 6 weeks, 24/7. Yet it feels comforting in a way.

    I hope you feel better soon!