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 Mount Elizabeth Hospitals?

At Mount Elizabeth Hospitals, you will have access to our accomplished team of general surgeons, trusted in Singapore and the region for their skills and experience.

They are supported by nurses and allied health professionals, who are adept at treating a wide range of health conditions. Patients will receive a customised treatment plan tailored to their unique needs.

Our well-equipped hospital facilities and dedicated nurses ensure that our female patients undergoing vacuum-assisted biopsies get the care and focus they deserve.

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 Mount Elizabeth Hospitals, our surgeons are experienced in diagnosing patients with suspicious breast lumps, through procedures such as vacuum-assisted biopsy.

 Male
 Female
0 LISTINGS
This page has been reviewed by our medical content reviewers.

Need help?


For enquiries, please call
+65 6250 0000 (Orchard) or +65 6898 6898 (Novena)

For appointment bookings, please WhatsApp
+65 8111 7777 (Orchard) or +65 8111 5777 (Novena)