Background/aim: Hematoma is the most frequent complication after Vacuum-Assisted Breast Biopsy (VABB) in 13% of cases. A direct communication channel with patients eases the diagnosis of VABB complications and ensures treatment at an early stage, as outpatients, in most cases. In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we observed a reduction of self-reported postoperative complication leading to delay in the identification of harmful complications, therefore leading to need for more invasive treatment.
Case report: A 50-year-old patient was admitted to the Emergency Department for dry cough, fever, chest discomfort, dyspnea, and slight confusion four days after VABB. Due to the reported symptoms, the patient was sent to our COVID-19 Emergency Department. The COVID-19 swab was negative. Ultrasound revealed a large hematoma at the biopsy site, with active bleeding. Open evacuation with accurate hemostasis was planned with rapid and complete resolution of the clinical symptoms. After surgery, the patient reported that she intentionally avoided admittance in the hospital due to the risk of COVID-19 infection. The patient was discharged in the first postoperative day and maintained in quarantine for 14 days.
Conclusion: In the COVID-19 era due to the risk of hospital cross-infections, reduction of patient-doctor communication could lead to misdiagnosis, delay in recognition of procedural complications thus leading to requirement for invasive treatment, hospitalization, while also further multiplying the risk of COVID-19 infection.
Keywords: Breast biopsy; Covid-19; case report; post-procedural hematoma; vacuum-assisted biopsy.
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