Vacuum-Assisted Biopsy (VAB)

What is a vacuum-assisted biopsy (VAB)?

Illustration of a vacuum-assisted biopsy (VAB).

A vacuum-assisted biopsy (VAB) is a procedure that takes multiple samples of tissue from an area of abnormality for testing.

It is the most common alternative procedure to traditional core biopsy in managing suspicious breast lesions, as it allows multiple cores of tissue to be removed with a single insertion.

How it works

The area of abnormality within the breast is precisely located using either an ultrasound or mammogram. A small 5mm incision is then made to collect tissue samples from the suspicious area of the breast. Mammotome and SenoRx are the two most commonly used devices for VAB.

Why do you need a vacuum-assisted biopsy (VAB)?

There are tiny masses in your breast that can only be detected by a mammogram. If your doctor notices something suspicious from your mammogram, breast ultrasound or MRI results, you may need a breast biopsy to check for malignancy. A biopsy is used to diagnose or rule out breast cancer.

Your doctor may recommend a VAB because it is safe compared to other tissue sampling techniques.

What are the risks and complications of a vacuum-assisted biopsy (VAB)?

During the biopsy, you may experience mild discomfort. Significant bleeding or pain during the biopsy is rare.

After the biopsy, you may experience:

  • Bruising
  • Discomfort
  • Tenderness
  • Mild bleeding at the biopsy site, though occasionally bleeding is significant

Other rare post-biopsy complications include:

  • Breast infection
  • Allergic reaction to the local anaesthetic

Complications from a breast biopsy can delay subsequent breast surgery.

Learn more about breast biopsy procedures (including VAB) in this comprehensive guide.

Why choose Gleneagles Hospital?

At Gleneagles Hospital, our team of general surgeons is known in Singapore and the region for their surgical expertise.

Female patients undergoing vacuum-assisted biopsies will receive a careful diagnosis and quality care from our dedicated medical team in a well-equipped clinical setting.

Estimated cost

Private healthcare can be affordable. Use our Hospital Bill Estimator to determine the estimated cost of this procedure. If you have hospital insurance, find out how you can use your insurance.

Our general surgeons

At Gleneagles Hospital, our surgeons are well-trained in performing a range of procedures, including vacuum-assisted biopsies, to diagnose potential breast conditions.

Please check with your insurance provider for more information, and for their most up-to-date list of panel doctors.

^Specialists may qualify to be on the Extended Panel (EP). You may enjoy selected panel benefits depending on your policy and riders.
This page has been reviewed by our medical content reviewers.

Need help?

For enquiries, please call
+65 6575 7575

For appointment bookings, please WhatsApp
+65 8111 9777