breast BIOPSY

Your doctor has requested you undergo a biopsy of the breast. The following information should help clarify what you can expect regarding the procedure.

What is a breast biopsy?

A breast biopsy is a procedure that uses a needle to extract tissue samples from the breast. It is usually performed after an abnormality is detected on a mammogram or ultrasound examination.

Radiology Associates performs both Stereotactic breast biopsy and ultrasound-guided core breast biopsy, depending on the type of mass revealed in the mammogram. The stereotactic biopsy is generally performed on calcifications within the breast and the ultrasound guided biopsy is performed if a mass is detected. In both cases, the needle is guided by imaging technology and a computer to ensure the needle is placed in the exact right location. Samples are removed and sent to the laboratory for diagnosis.

Both procedurses last about an hour and there is no significant scarring. Recovery is much easier and shorter than a conventional excisional biopsy. With either biopsy, a physician who specializes in analyzing tissue under a microscope will prepare a report which will be reviewed and forwarded to your physician. Normally the results are available to you in one or two days.

The Ultrasound Procedure

Ultrasound uses a small, handheld device called a transducer to confirm the location of the lesion that needs to be tested.

You will be asked to wear a hospital gown for your exam. A technologist will escort you to the biopsy room, where you will be instructed to lie on your back. The radiologist will then scan the breast to confirm the location of the lesion. Using data from the transducer, the radiologist will numb the site, then position a biopsy needle for accurate entry into the breast and lesion. The radiologist will then make a tiny incision and insert the biopsy needle into the breast.

Once placement of the needle is confirmed, you will be asked to remain motionless while the tissue sample is acquired. The needle containing the breast tissue is then withdrawn and the site bandaged. A very gentle mammogram will be performed after the biopsy to confirm that the clip is in the correct area. There are no significant after-effects to this procedure and many women return to normal activities the same day.

The Stereotactic Procedure

This safe and easy procedure, typically performed during a brief office visit, allows the radiologist to locate areas of tissue too small to be felt.

You will need to put on a gown. You will be sitting in a special chair, and the technologist will position your breast on the mammogram machine.

The radiologist will numb the area and a small incision is made through which the biopsy needle is inserted. Although relatively painless, you may feel pressure during the biopsy.

Following the procedure the incision will be treated and bandaged. Unless told otherwise by your physician, you will be free to return to work or other normal activities. You may experience some soreness and you should avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting for the remainder of the day.

Reports are also available on the MyRAD Patient Portal