Our Services | Breast Imaging

Nearby Locations - Needle Localization

Needle Localization

Breast Needle Localization (also called wire localization) is used to mark a precise location of abnormal breast tissue to guide your surgeon during a surgical procedure. This procedure is performed using image guidance, such as ultrasound, mammography or MRI.

As part of the Breast Needle Localization procedure, images will be taken of the breast to determine the location of the abnormality. The needle will then be positioned and other images will be obtained. A small wire is placed through the needle, and then the needle is removed and the wire is left in place. Additional mammogram images may be taken, and the wire will be taped to your skin until your surgery.

What You Need To Know

There will be a scar on the breast after biopsy. You may experience swelling or bruising that will resolve over time. Most patients return to their regular schedule the next day.

What To Expect

  • We’ll give you a call before your appointment to talk through preparation instructions.
  • Please provide the name, address and phone number of any facility where you have had a prior mammogram. If you have images from previous exams, please bring them to your appointment. Our radiologist may need these prior images for comparison in order to make an accurate diagnosis.
  • Be sure to tell us if you are pregnant, nursing, or if there is a chance you may be pregnant. 
  • On the day of your exam, please arrive 15 minutes early for check-in. 
  • A technologist will greet you and will go over a few health questions.
  • You will be led to a dressing room to remove your shirt and bra and put on a robe or gown that we provide for your exam.
  • The technologist will position you for easiest access to the area. The skin will be swabbed with a cleaning solution. A local anesthetic will be used to numb the area where the needle will be inserted.
  • A radiologist will use image-guided technology to place a needle into the breast tissue. Once the needle is in position, a thin flexible wire is placed through the needle. The needle is then removed, leaving the wire in place to be used as a guide for the surgeon during a breast surgery. It will be removed by your surgeon.
  • When your procedure is complete, you’ll be escorted back to the changing room so you can change out of the scrubs and back into your clothing.
  • Once you have changed, your appointment is complete. You do not need to check out with the front desk when you leave.                
  • Follow up with your referring provider to discuss next steps.