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Mammography Guided Needle Localization

The radiologist uses mammography to accurately place a wire in the tissue that will guide the surgeon to the area so that the abnormal tissue can be surgically removed and sent for pathology. This procedure will be scheduled by your breast surgeon in correlation with the surgical excision.

What to Bring

  • Personal ID
  • Insurance card(s)
  • Medication list and dosages
  • A relative or friend to accompany you and drive you home after the procedure

How to Prepare

  • Wear comfortable clothing as you will be changing into a gown for the procedure.
  • Please leave valuable jewelry at home.
  • If you wear an on-body device (insulin pump, insulin regulators, Neulasta, other chemo/insulin devices, etc.), you must inform your X-ray technologist. These devices cannot be in the X-ray room during the exam.
  • If there is any chance that you are pregnant, please inform the technologist.
  • Do not use deodorant, talcum powder or lotion under your arms or near the breasts. These products may show up as an artifact in the image.
  • Your medications will be reviewed before your procedure. Your medical provider may advise you to stop taking blood thinning medications before your procedure.

What to Expect

  • Please plan to arrive at North Oaks’ Mammography Program in the Outpatient Diagnostic Center 30 minutes before scheduled procedure.
  • You will be asked to sit in a chair during this exam. The affected breast will be compressed and held in position throughout the procedure. It is imperative that you do not move once compression is applied.
  • Mammography images will be obtained. Once the area of concern is identified, a radiologist will use a local anesthetic to numb your breast.
  • Most women report no pain but may feel pressure and pulling. If you have any unusual symptoms or sensations, alert the technologist or radiologist. A needle is placed in the breast, and a small wire is threaded through the needle and inserted into the area of concern. Accurate placement of the wire is checked by mammogram. The wire is securely taped in place.
  • You will be transported from the Mammography Program to the Same Day Surgery Center to await surgical removal of the wire and breast tissue.
  • Allow 60 minutes from registration to completion of the test for the needle localization procedure. Additional time should be allotted for surgical removal.
  • A pathologist will examine the removed specimen and make a final diagnosis. The results will be sent to your surgeon.

If you are a provider and need to send an order, please fax (985) 230-6781.