Are you having back pain with any of the following?

  • Severe pain, weakness or tingling in your leg(s).
  • Difficulty stopping urination or loss of control of bladder or bowels.
  • Unexplained fever, nausea or vomiting.
  • A history of cancer or unexplained weight loss.

We understand that you are experiencing one or more of the health issues that might be impacting your back pain.

We recommend that you discuss these health issues with your doctor before proceeding with this program.

Once you are cleared by your doctor to do this program, we hope it helps you find relief from your back pain.

Provider photo for Ninad Dabadghav

Ninad Dabadghav, MD

Surgery: General

Welcome to My Doctor Online, a web site that my colleagues and I developed to make it easier for you to take care of your healthcare needs. On this site you will find answers to many of your questions about my clinical practice. Also included are several online features that will allow you to e-mail me, check your laboratory results and refill prescriptions. I hope you find its content informative and useful.

My Offices

Santa Clara Homestead
Appt/Advice: 1-408-851-2000

See all office information »

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During a breast biopsy, we remove a sample of tissue from your breast. This is the best way to diagnose breast cancer and other breast problems.

Your clinician may recommend a breast biopsy if you have:

  • An abnormal mammogram or ultrasound
  • A change in one or both breasts

Most changes in breast tissue are not cancerous. 

A biopsy can identify the reason for the change. Finding cancer early gives you the best chance for successful treatment.

If you notice a change in your breasts, let your clinician know so she or he can examine the change or growth.

Types of Breast Biopsy

We may remove a small amount of breast tissue by using either a needle or minor surgery. The size and location of the area of concern helps us determine the type of biopsy needed.  

The types of breast biopsies are:

  • Core-needle biopsy
  • Surgical (open) biopsy
  • Fine-needle aspiration 

Before you have a biopsy, your clinician will discuss the type of biopsy that is best for you.

Based on the results, additional tests may be ordered.

Why It Is Done

 A breast biopsy may be recommended when you have:

  • An abnormal mammogram or breast ultrasound
  • A growth or other suspicious area found during a physical exam of your breasts

A breast biopsy may also be done if you have a change in the appearance of your nipples, such as:

  • Dimpling
  • Discharge of blood or fluid
  • Crusty or scaly areas 

It is common to feel stressed about having a breast biopsy. However, a breast biopsy lets us learn more about the area of concern. This is important, so you can be treated correctly.

Remember that most changes in breast tissue are not cancer.


The risks associated with having a breast biopsy are low. It’s common to develop some bruising in the area of the biopsy. It may take days or weeks for the bruises to disappear.

After having a breast biopsy, you may develop a small scar. 

During a surgical biopsy, more tissue is removed. The shape or appearance of your breast might change.

There’s a slight risk of infection in the area of the biopsy. Watch for signs of infection, such as:

  • Fever
  • Redness
  • Tenderness
  • Fluid drainage 

Although rare, it’s possible to develop excessive bleeding that may need to be drained or bandaged.

If you have breast cancer, a breast biopsy does not cause the cancer to spread.

How to Prepare

Before having a:

  • Core-needle biopsy or fine-needle aspiration, you may eat a light snack and drink fluids.
  • Surgical biopsy, you must avoid eating and drinking for 8 to 12 hours, if you need general anesthesia. 

In addition:

  • List all medications you currently take, including nonprescription drugs and herbal supplements.
  • Wear a supportive bra or sports bra to hold an ice pack against your breast after the biopsy.

Alert us if you:

  • Take blood-thinning medications.
  • Have drug allergies or problems with excessive bleeding.
  • Are pregnant or nursing.
  • Cannot lie on your stomach.
  • Have a heart pacemaker or other electronic device implanted in your body. We may use an MRI during your biopsy. 

You may need blood tests before your breast biopsy.

Needle Biopsy

Fine-needle aspiration may be done when you have a lump on your breast.

  • You’re given local anesthesia to numb the area.
  • We place a thin needle into your breast and remove a small amount of breast tissue or fluid.

Additional tests may be ordered.

Core-needle biopsy is the most common type of breast biopsy. It’s done when:

  • You have a change or growth seen on a mammogram or ultrasound.
  • Your clinician feels a lump during a breast exam.

During this biopsy, we may:

  • Use a hollow needle to remove tiny tubes (cores) of breast tissue.
  • Use an ultrasound or mammogram to guide the needle.
  • Place a small clip inside your breast to mark the biopsy site. 

The clip is safe to leave in the breast. It doesn’t cause any reaction.

Image-Guided Biopsy

 Stereotactic core-needle biopsy:

  • You lie face-down on a table.
  • Your breast hangs through a hole in the table.
  • The table is raised a few feet.
  • We sit under the table to access your breast. 

We then:

  • Use mammography to locate the biopsy area.
  • Apply medicine to numb the area.
  • Insert a needle into your breast.
  • Remove several samples of tissue.

Ultrasound-guided biopsy:

  • You lie on your back.
  • We place an ultrasound wand over your breast.
  • You are given numbing medicine.
  • We insert a needle into your breast.
  • We remove several samples of tissue. 

MRI-guided biopsy:

  • You lie face-down on a table.
  • Your breasts drop into a hollow space in the table.
  • The MRI helps us aim the needle into the correct area.

Surgical Biopsy

We may remove all or part of the lump or area of concern from your breast. You’re given medicine to make you fall asleep during the procedure. 

After a surgical biopsy, you’ll have a small scar and possibly stitches. There’s usually no change in the shape or appearance of your breast, unless we remove a large piece of tissue.

Right before surgery, we might place a special wire into the breast with the help of an X-ray. The wire guides us to the correct location. We may remove all or part of the mass during surgery, along with the wire.


Normal results mean there are:

  • No problems with the breast tissue
  • No sign of cancer 

Abnormal results mean there are changes in the breast tissue. You may have:

  • Breast problems that do not involve cancer (such as painful lumpy breasts or a fibrous mass).
  • Precancerous breast tissue. This means the cells are abnormal and may need to be removed.
  • Breast cancer. 

Your clinician will talk with you about your results. You might need additional testing or treatment. 

Having a breast biopsy is important. Early diagnosis of breast cancer is key to successful treatment.

Additional References:

Your Care with Me

If you are having symptoms that concern you, your first contact will typically be with your personal physician, who will evaluate your health and symptoms. If specialty care is needed, your personal physician will facilitate the process of scheduling an appointment in my department. If appropriate, she or he might call me or one of my colleagues while you are in the office so we can all discuss your care together. If we decide you need an appointment with me after that discussion, we can often schedule it the same day.

When You See Me

During your office visit, we will discuss your medical and family history and I will perform a physical exam. I will explain the findings of your exam and answer any questions or concerns you may have. We will discuss treatment options based on the findings.

Lab resources

We will also discuss the results of any tests ordered by your personal physician. If further tests are needed I will use our electronic medical record system to send the requisition to the Kaiser Permanente laboratory of your choice.

  • When the results are ready, you can view most of them online, along with any comments that I have attached to explain them.
  • If your results are normal, I will also send the results in the mail.
  • If they are outside the normal range, I will call you to discuss the results.
Pharmacy resources

If medications are warranted, I will prescribe them and work with you to minimize side effects. If refills are indicated in the future, you can order them online from my home page or by phone using the pharmacy refill number on your prescription label.

  • You can also arrange to have your refill mailed to you at no extra cost. If no refills remain when you place your order, the pharmacy will contact me regarding your prescription.
  • You can choose to pick up your medications at the pharmacy or have them delivered by mail at no extra cost.
After Visit Summary

At the end of our visit, you will receive a document called the After Visit Summary that will summarize the issues we discussed during your visit. You can also view it online from this site.  The online version is called Past Visits.

  • This summary includes my name and the date and time of your visit, your vital signs, my test orders and your medications or immunizations.
  • It often includes the instructions I have given you during our visit and follow-up information.
  • You can refer to your After Visit Summary if you forget what we discussed, or if you just want to recheck your vital signs and weight.
Coordinating your care

Having all of our Kaiser Permanente departments located together or nearby, including pharmacy, laboratory, radiology and health education, makes getting your care easier for you. Another major benefit is our comprehensive electronic medical record system in which all of the doctors and clinicians involved in your care can stay connected on your health status and collaborate with each other as appropriate. When every member of the health care team is aware of all aspects of your condition, care is safer and more effective.

Preparing for Surgery

If surgery is indicated, I will ask you to review an online educational program called Preparing for Your Procedure (Emmi). This online program is available on this site. It will help you decide whether surgery is right for you. It will also provide information about how to prepare and what to expect.

If we proceed with surgery, I will have my Surgery Scheduler contact you to determine a surgery date and provide you with additional instructions regarding your procedure. Once your surgery is scheduled, a medical colleague of mine will contact you to conduct a pre-operative medical evaluation that will assure that you are properly prepared for your surgery.

Contacting Me

If you need to talk with me after your visit or procedure, please call my office. You can also e-mail me with nonurgent issues from this website whenever it is convenient for you.

If you have urgent concerns or issues while my office is closed, or need general medical advice, you can call the Appointment and Advice line, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You will be connected with a nurse who can give you immediate advice.

If you are experiencing an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room.

Related Health Tools:

Prepare for Your Procedure

See more Health Tools »

If you have an emergency medical condition, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. An emergency medical condition is any of the following: (1) a medical condition that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that you could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in serious jeopardy to your health or body functions or organs; (2) active labor when there isn't enough time for safe transfer to a Plan hospital (or designated hospital) before delivery, or if transfer poses a threat to your (or your unborn child's) health and safety, or (3) a mental disorder that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity such that either you are an immediate danger to yourself or others, or you are not immediately able to provide for, or use, food, shelter, or clothing, due to the mental disorder.

This information is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of specific medical advice or care you receive from your physician or other health care professional. If you have persistent health problems, or if you have additional questions, please consult with your doctor. If you have questions or need more information about your medication, please speak to your pharmacist. Kaiser Permanente does not endorse the medications or products mentioned. Any trade names listed are for easy identification only.

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