What is a core biopsy of the breast?

The procedure you have had today is known as a core biopsy. Under local anaesthetic, a small cut has been made in the skin and small samples of tissue removed for examination. The following information is to advise you about caring for your breast after the procedure.

The dressing

The cut in your skin has been closed using ‘Steri-Strips’ and a plaster has been applied over the area. The Steri-Strips and plaster should be left undisturbed for two days. The area must be kept clean and dry. Do not have a bath or shower for the first 24 hours. After 48 hours the plaster can be removed. If you think the wound is not quite healed, leave the plaster on for another two days.


The local anaesthetic will gradually wear off over the next few hours. Your breast may then feel sore and uncomfortable. If you wish, you can take pain relief tablets such as paracetamol according to the instructions on the packet. Do not take any tablets containing aspirin as this will increase the likelihood of bleeding.


The amount of bruising after this procedure varies widely. It is likely that you will develop a bruise or lump around the area of the biopsy. However, it may extend more widely. This bruising may take several weeks to clear up, but if the bruising becomes gradually worse please seek medical advice.


Although we take care to prevent infection, there is a very small possibility that the wound may become infected. If pus (thick greenish/yellowish fluid) leaks from the wound or your breast feels hot and swollen, please contact the breast care nurse for advice.


You should make an appointment to return to the breast unit the following week after your procedure. You will see your consultant or a member of their team who will discuss the result.

Breast care nurse contact details

If you have any questions or concerns regarding skin care after the biopsy, you can contact the breast care nurse (Monday-Friday, 9am to 4.30pm) at the location where you had your procedure:

Alternatively, you can contact your GP, go to your local walk-in centre or emergency department. Visit the NHS website to find your nearest service.

A small amount of watery fluid will often leak from the wound, especially in the first two days. This is normal and does not indicate infection.