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Stereotactic Breast Biopsy

A breast biopsy is a minimally invasive procedure done to remove some cells from a lump or abnormality detected during a mammogram. The sample will be sent to pathology for testing and diagnosis. This non-surgical procedure is the best way to evaluate if the breast lump or abnormality is benign or cancerous. Stereotactic biopsies use “stereo” X-rays (X-rays taken from different angles) and a special biopsy needle to get tissue samples from the area of interest.

As our patient, we are committed to making your experience as easy and comfortable as possible and providing the medical answers needed to guide your care.

Learn more about the Stereotactic Breast Biopsy Experience:

  • We will call you prior to your appointment to provide you with specific instructions and review health and insurance information.
  • Please bring previous images you have had to the appointment, including ultrasound, mammography and MRI exams or provide the name, address and contact information of the place where you had the exams done. The radiologist may need your previous films for comparison in order to make an accurate assessment.
  • Please notify a member of our staff if you are nursing or if there is a chance you may be pregnant.
  • For your comfort and safety, please consider bringing someone with you to your biopsy procedure to drive you home.
  • This exam usually takes about an hour.
  • During the procedure, you are positioned in front of the stereotactic machine, or face down on a table (varies by center).
  • The breast is cleaned and skin is numbed with a needle.
  • Your breast is then positioned with slight compression and several X-ray images will be taken in order to locate the abnormality.
  • The radiologist then inserts a tiny, hollow needle and positions it in location of the abnormality.
  • Additional X-rays will be taken to ensure accurate placement.
  • Several tissue samples may be taken and they are sent on to a pathologist to be examined.
  • A tiny tissue marker is placed in the breast to mark the biopsy area. You will not be able to feel the marker, but it will show up on future mammograms.
  • Once the biopsy is complete, the needle is removed, pressure will be applied, and the skin is covered with a dressing.

Ask a member of our staff for more specific information on when and how you will receive your results. However, in general you can expect:

  • A radiologist who specializes in breast imaging will review your X-ray pictures.
  • Light gauze will be placed over the biopsy area; you may experience some bruising.
  • Our staff will explain how and when you will receive your results.

If you have additional questions about your appointment or our services, please contact your local imaging center