Article Abstract

Vacuum-assisted breast biopsy for breast cancer

Authors: Hai-Lin Park, Jisun Hong


Sonographic examination of the breast with state-of-the-art equipment has become an essential part of the clinical work-up of breast lesions and a valuable adjunct to mammographic screening and physical examination. Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) and core-needle biopsy (CNB) are well-established, valuable techniques that are still used in most cases, whereas vacuum-assisted breast biopsy (VABB) is a more recent technique. VABB has proven clinical value and can be used under sonographic, mammographic, and magnetic resonance imaging guidance. The main indication for the use of VABB is for biopsies of clustered microcalcifications, which are usually performed under stereotactic guidance. This method has been proven reliable and should replace surgical biopsies. The ultrasound-guided procedure is still more a matter of discussion, but it should also replace surgical biopsies for nodular lesions, and it should even replace surgery for the complete removal of benign lesions. This viewpoint is gradually gaining acceptance. Different authors have shown increased diagnostic accuracy of VABB compared to FNA and CNB. VABB particularly leads to less histological underestimation. The other indications for VABB are palpable or nonpalpable nodular lesions or American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System 3 and 4A lesions. For masses that are likely benign or indeterminate, we attempt to completely remove the lesion to eliminate uncertainty on later follow-up images. VABB offers the best possible histological sampling and aids avoidance of unnecessary operations. VABB complications include bleeding or pain during the procedure, as well as postoperative pain, hemorrhaging, and hematomas. But, these hemorrhaging could be controlled by the post-procedural compression and bed resting. Overall, VABB is a reliable sampling technique with few complications, is relatively easy to use, and is well-tolerated by patients. The larger amount of extracted tissue reduces sampling error.