BREAST BIOPSY: STEREOTACTIC GUIDED
WHAT IS STEREOTACTIC GUIDED BREAST BIOPSY?
An mammographically guided breast biopsy is performed to remove cells from a suspicious area in the breast. The cells will then be examined under a microscope to determine a diagnosis. Image-guided needle biopsy is not designed to remove the entire lesion, but most of a very small lesion may be removed in the process of biopsy.
A special mammography machine uses x-rays to help guide one of our Radiologic Physicians’ instruments to the site of the abnormal growth.
COMMON USES OF STEREOTACTIC GUIDED BREAST BIOPSY
A stereotactic breast biopsy is performed when a mammogram shows a breast abnormality such as:
- a suspicious solid mass
- microcalcifications, a tiny cluster of small calcium deposits
- a distortion in the structure of the breast tissue
- an area of abnormal tissue change
- a new mass or area of calcium deposits is present at a previous surgery site
HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR THE PROCEDURE?
- You will be asked to remove some or all of your clothes and wear a gown during the exam.
- You will be asked to remove jewelry, removable dental appliances, eye glasses and any metal objects or clothing that might interfere with the x-ray images.
- Do not wear deodorant, powder, lotion or perfume under your arms or on your breasts on the day of the exam.
- Arrange for a relative or friend to accompany you and drive you home afterward. This is recommended if you have been sedated.
- Inform the Radiologic Physician if there is any possibility you are pregnant. Some procedures using image-guidance may not be performed during pregnancy.
- Inform your Radiologic Physician, the Technician, as well as your referring physician of all medications that you are taking, including herbal supplements, and if you have any allergies, especially to anesthesia. Your physician will advise you to stop taking aspirin or a blood thinner three days before your procedure.
- Inform the Radiologic Physician of recent illnesses or other medical conditions.
HOW IS THE PROCEDURE PERFORMED?
During a stereotactic breast biopsy, your breast is firmly compressed between two plates. Mammograms are used to produce stereo images — images of the same area from different angles — to determine the exact location for the biopsy. A sample of breast tissue in the area of concern is then removed with a needle.
- The Radiologic Physician first cleans the area on your breast. Numbing medicine is injected. This may sting a bit.
- The breast is pressed down to hold it in position during the procedure. You need to hold still while the biopsy is being performed.
- Our Radiologic Physician makes a very small cut on your breast over the area that needs to be biopsied.
- Using a special machine, a needle or sheath is guided to the exact location of the abnormal area. Several samples of breast tissue are taken.
- A small metal clip may be placed into the breast in the biopsy area. The clip marks it for surgical biopsy later, if needed.
The biopsy itself is done using one of the following:
- Fine needle aspiration
- Hollow needle (called a core needle)
- Vacuum-powered device
- Both a needle and vacuum-powered device
The procedure usually takes about 1 hour. This includes the time it takes for the x-rays. The actual biopsy takes only several minutes.
After the tissue sample has been taken, the catheter or needle is removed. Ice and pressure are applied to the site to stop any bleeding. A bandage will be applied to absorb any fluid. Stitches are not needed. Adhesive strips may be placed over any wound, if needed.
WILL I FEEL PAIN DURING THE PROCEDURE?
- You may feel a sharp, stinging sensation when the local anesthetic is injected. During the procedure, you may feel slight discomfort or light pressure.
- Lying on your stomach for up to 1 hour may be uncomfortable. Using cushions or pillows may help. Some patients are given a pill to help relax them before the procedure.
- After the test, the breast may be sore and tender for several days. Do not do any heavy lifting or work with your arms for 24 hours after the biopsy. You can use acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen for pain relief.
RISKS VS BENEFITS
Stereotactic core biopsy was developed as an alternative to surgical biopsy. It is a less invasive way to obtain the tissue samples needed for diagnosis. This procedure requires less recovery time than does a surgical biopsy, and there is no significant scarring to the breast.
There is a slight chance of infection at the injection or surgical cut site. Bruising is common. But excessive bleeding is rare, in which case may require draining or re-bandaging.
WHAT ABOUT PAYMENT?
Radiology Consultants will file all insurance as a courtesy to you. Depending on the Contractual Agreement with your Insurance Company, you may owe a co-payment and/or deductible at the time of service.
* Please bring your Insurance Card with you *
Please visit our BILLING PAGE for specific information on Insurance, Self-Pay, Motor Vehicle Accident, Cash, Debit or Major Credit Card payment options.
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Please notify the Radiologic Physician and/or Technologist if there is a possibility you are pregnant. Radiation is potentially harmful to a developing baby during pregnancy.