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Stereotactic Breast Biopsy

A Stereotactic Breast Biopsy (or Image-guided Breast Biopsy) is performed as a non-surgical method of assessing a breast abnormality. This procedure uses digital mammography technology to acquire tissue sampling. The tissue is obtained using a vacuum-assisted device (VAD) which uses pressure to pull the tissue into a device. This instrument collects multiple tissue samples through one needle insertion.

What to Bring

  • Your physician order (if you were given an order from your physician)
  • Personal ID
  • Insurance Card(s)
  • Medication list
  • A relative or friend to drive you home after your procedure.

How to Prepare

  • Wear comfortable clothing as you will be changing into a gown for 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 of pregnancy, 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 on the image.
  • Your medications will be reviewed prior to your procedure. Your physician may advise you to stop taking blood thinning medications before your procedure.

What to Expect

  • Please plan to arrive 1 hour prior to scheduled procedure to allow time for consent process.
  • You will be asked to lie on your stomach on a moveable exam table with the affected breast positioned into an opening in the table.
  • The breast will be compressed and held in position throughout the procedure. It is imperative that you do not move once compression is applied.
  • Preliminary stereotactic mammogram images are taken and reviewed by the radiologist. Once the radiologist identifies the area on the images, the computer will create “coordinates” and send it to the biopsy device.
  • A local anesthetic will be injected into the skin and more deeply into the breast to numb the area.
  • A small incision is made in the skin where the biopsy needle will be inserted into the breast. Mammogram images are again obtained to confirm that the needle is within the target area prior to sampling.
  • Multiple samples are removed using a vacuum-assisted device. A final set of images will be obtained and a marker will be placed at the biopsy site so that it can be located in the future if necessary.
  • Once the biopsy is completed, pressure will be applied to the biopsy site for approximately 10 minutes.
  • A mammogram may be performed to confirm that the marker is in the proper position.
  • You will need to allow 90 minutes from registration to completion of test.
  • Recovery time is brief and patients resume their normal activities.
  • Pathology results will be sent to your ordering provider.