Does Having a Previous Biopsy or a Lumpectomy Make It More Difficult to Interpret a Mammogram?

Question: Does having a previous biopsy or a lumpectomy make it more difficult to interpret a mammogram?

Answer: Having a prior surgical biopsy can make interpretation of the mammogram more difficult, because it causes some distortion on the mammogram; it doesn't look like quite normal tissue, but usually we can tell the difference. Nowadays most women have core needle biopsies if there's a finding detected on the mammogram or ultrasound and that causes almost no distortion on the mammogram for most women. It's mainly the surgical biopsies that can make things a little tricky; old films are very helpful in that setting.

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