How much pain should I expect after an excisional biopsy?

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 11/26/2011 11:21 PM (GMT -7)   
I have an excisional biopsy coming up this Thursday. The doctor said I'll be "a little tender" for a few days afterwards. I don't believe her. A friend of mine was told the same thing but wound up being in a lot of pain and spent a week on the couch.
How much pain should I expect after having a 2- to 3-inch incision? What kind of pain medicine do you need after this sort of procedure?
Also, I am having a wire put in first. A grape-sized area will be removed, and it is located near the chest muscle. I don't have a lump (a few small calcifications were removed during the needle biopsy) but have hyperplasia.
How long do you think I will be laid up?
Thank you so much!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4907
   Posted 11/27/2011 6:32 PM (GMT -7)   
I had my whole lump for a biopsy, about that size incision. Mine was down on the chest wall, so it hurt a little, but it's not horrible. 2 wires was the worst part - no anesthetic. Ask for a pain killer. They'll give you some Vicodin or whatever you tolerate. You might not even need it.

I always refuse Versed and Fentanyl for anesthesia. Ask before the surgery! You have the right to refuse things. Versed doesn't do anything for pain, just makes you forget. (They'll probably lie and say just something to make you relax) Fentanyl always makes me vomit for 8 hours after a procedure. I only allowed MAC for anesthesia, so no tube down the throat, breathing on my own. They don't NEED general anesthesia with tube and gas because it's a short deal. Propofol is nice because you wake up with your brain working.

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 11/27/2011 6:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Alcie, for the advice!

I thought they give you a local before putting in the wire? I can't believe they put a wire in you without a local.

I'm fine with conscious sedation--I don't want to be aware of the surgery.

Did you have to take Vicodin after your surgery? For how many days?

Thanks so much,

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 11/27/2011 7:18 PM (GMT -7)   
I've had both local and anesthesia. I vote for the local. No pain and easier to recoup from. I was back to regular activity levels the next day. Took a couple of Tylenol with codeine the day of, but that was it. It really wasn't a difficult recovery.

Hope it goes well for you... let us know.

Breast Cancer forum moderator

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 11/27/2011 7:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you!
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