Avoid Traveling to Vegas after a Breast Biopsy!

Even a breast biopsy can’t ruin vegas, baby!

Miracle Mile Red Carpet.jpg

Ladies, you know how it goes: you get your yearly mammogram and then wait for a week, trying not to think of your lab results. I’ve always had my test done in November because I just have it as a repeating yearly alarm in my calendar ever since I first had the test done years ago.

Anyway, I had tickets to fly to Vegas for the New Year’s celebrations with my sister and I was busy working on my shopping list. About 5 days after my mammogram, I get a call from the doctor’s office…eek, that’s never good! They say the doctor would like me to go back for further testing. Sweet mother of Zeus…

I go back and the star doctor is there to personally perform the test…double eek! Why would the superstar of the practice do it personally? As she’s looking at her screen she says she sees a dark cluster of breast tissue and I should definitely have a biopsy of BOTH breasts! I’m a little scared and a LOT annoyed. Damnit, it would be so freaking annoying it I learned I had cancer during my Vegas girls getaway!

This next part is not for the queasy

So, I go in for the biopsy. Gentlemen, skip this paragraph because you won’t like it. It involves a foot-long needle that is attached to a very precise machine into which the doctor feeds coordinates based on the ultrasound that is being performed at the same time as the biopsy.

Whispering some poker pointers to Ben Affleck in Vegas

Whispering some poker pointers to Ben Affleck in Vegas

I get two injections of an anesthetic in each breast. I am lying down on my stomach and one of my breasts is hanging through a hole in the operating table, my face is looking down at the floor through another hole, like on those spa/massage tables. Once the precise coordinates are typed into a computer, the doctor asks you to take a deep breath and then hold your breath until she says you can breathe again. The moment I hold my breath, I hear something like a shot from a pneumatic gun and I feel a tug on my breast.

So far, I hadn’t felt any pain and the only real bummer had been the butterflies in my stomach and the disbelief of having to go through this. But then, immediately after the gunshot sound and the tug at my breast, I see a gush of blood on the floor. THAT is something I wasn’t expecting. And the worst is that there was another breast to go.


Once this procedure was over, the waiting started. I was packing for vegas and I didn’t even know what the lab results would be. YOLO? I guess.

A few days before my trip, I get a phone call saying I’m ok, the dark cluster they had detected were calcifications and I’m good to go. The doctor says: “You’re going to travel, right? Ok, the titanium clips we left in both breasts will only be “hot” for a few days. You should be fine.”

Hmmmm, I’m not sure what that means. I’m just happy I’m ok. Vegas, baby!!

We land in Vegas and as we’re going through immigration, an alarm goes off in the distance. The immigrations officer looks down at his belt (which presumably is either vibrating or ringing) and he looks at my sister and I and says, “Come with me, please.” The alarm was for US?! Why?!

As we’re walking to a room nearby, he asks, “Have either of you had a biopsy recently?” Of course we says yes and he calmly replies, “That’s it, then. It happens all the time. It’s the titanium. It is detectable for about a week after a biopsy.” Once in the room, he asks us to stand and scans us from head to toe with a radiation detection gun (it looked like one of those they used after the Chernobyl disaster).

The officer really set our mind at ease immediately, so we weren’t concerned at any point during a procedure and paperwork that took around an hour well, we WERE pissed off our valuable Vegas times was being wasted


Only enough time to thank the officer and head for the mall!

The immigration officer asked what we planned to do during our stay in Vegas. Without missing a beat, both of us replied: SHOP! He laughed and wished us a happy trip and thanked us for our patience.

What did we learn from this health scare and potential airport security scare? Life is short, you don’t know when it’s going to be hit with something truly bad, so buy the dress and enjoyed every minute! Oh, and Las Vegas is the perfect place to get over the PTSD of a biopsy!

Grace HahnComment