How Tissue Donation Works

Step-by-Step Walkthrough of the Donor’s Day

Tissue donors will progress through the following stations:

  • Station 1 - To be greeted by volunteers and checked in. (5 minutes)
  • Station 2 - To complete informed consent paperwork. (15 minutes)
  • Station 3 - To be measured for height and weight. (5 minutes)
  • Station 4 - To complete online questionnaire. (10-15 minutes)
  • Station 5 - To proceed to have three small vials of blood drawn. (5-10 minutes)
  • Station 6 - To proceed to an examination room, where tissue is collected. (20-25 minutes)
    • The skin is cleaned, then numbed with lidocaine. 
    • The physician nicks the skin with a scalpel, and the needle is inserted into this incision. 
    • Three to seven sample cores are removed from the breast (this amount is approximately the size of three peas). 
    • A nurse/surgeon’s assistant holds pressure on the incision for 10 full minutes, then applies a pressure bandage. 
    • An ice pack is immediately placed on the breast, inside the bra or secured with an ACE bandage. 
    • For male donors, an ultrasound will be used to assist the biopsy procedure. If the physician determines there is not enough tissue, the biopsy will not be done.
  • Station 7 - To proceed to checkout to receive post procedure instructions. (5 minutes)

Total donation time is 70 – 90 minutes. Times are approximate.

Next tissue donation event:

Oct. 19, 2024, in Indianapolis

I thought it was a great experience to be able to help others by giving a small piece of myself. I heard about this wonderful opportunity through my mother, who donated and is helping spread awareness.

Emily — Tissue Donor

About the Susan G. Komen Tissue Bank

The Komen Tissue Bank is the only repository in the world for normal breast tissue and matched serum, plasma, and DNA. We are transforming breast cancer research by offering normal, high-quality, richly annotated tissue samples to scientists worldwide.

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