How Cold Therapy Helps After Core Biopsies of the Breast
Even though core biopsies of the breast are minimally invasive, there is still tissue disruption that can result in rapid swelling of the breast tissue and a hematoma or pooling of blood in the tissues.
Excess blood or fluid pooling in the breast tissue can delay healing and result in unnecessary pain for the patient.
Pressure and the use of cold therapy (or cryotherapy) are very effective in reducing the pain, swelling, and inflammation that can follow from these minimally invasive procedures.
What is effective cold therapy?
Effective cold therapy should draw four times the amount of heat out of tissue to improve healing.
What this means is that the product used needs to last longer at an even temperature to allow for effective treatment. Cold therapy products that quickly lose their ability to transfer heat limit their effectiveness to reduce swelling, produce numbness, and ability to relieve pain.
To avoid frostbite or further damage to tissue, any cold therapy product should not be placed directly on skin and should not be applied longer than 15 - 20 minutes at a time, 4 - 8 times a day.
Benefits with the routine use of cold therapy post-biopsy include:
- Reduce bruising and bleeding
- Improve patient comfort by reducing the pain associated with swelling
- Accelerate healing time by reducing swelling
- Reduce risk of hematoma formation
- Minimize delays before starting chemotherapy or radiation therapy following lumpectomy