STEREOTACTIC BREAST BIOPSY
What is Stereotactic Breast Biopsy?
A stereotactic breast biopsy is a safe and minimally invasive form of breast biopsy. It is an excellent way to evaluate calcium deposits or tiny masses that are not visible on ultrasound. It is used to obtain tiny a sample of suspect breast tissue precisely located with a computer-guided imaging system for examination by a pathologist. Biopsies are the only definitive way to confirm whether a breast abnormality is benign (non-cancerous) or not. The procedure is completed on an outpatient basis with a minimum of discomfort and recovery time.
No breast defect remains and, unlike surgery, x-ray-guided core needle biopsy does not distort the breast tissue and make it difficult to read future mammograms.
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.
A stereotactic breast biopsy is also performed when the patient or physician strongly prefers a non-surgical method of assessing a breast abnormality.
Women should always inform their physician or x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant
Because the vacuum-assisted device removes large pieces of tissue there is a risk of bleeding and forming a hematoma, a collection of blood at the biopsy site. The risk, however, appears to be less than 1 percent of patients.
An occasional patient has significant discomfort, which can be readily controlled by non-prescription pain medication.
Any procedure where the skin is penetrated carries a risk of infection
Depending on the type of biopsy being performed or the design of the biopsy machine, a biopsy of tissue located deep within the breast carries a slight risk that the needle will pass through the chest wall, allowing air around the lung that could collapse a lung. This is a rare occurrence
What should I expect BEFORE my Stereotactic Breast Biopsy?
If you are allergic to a local anesthetic medication, notify the technicians. Additionally, stop taking aspirin, Vitamin E, or Ibuprofen 3 days prior to the procedure. If you are on blood-thinning medication such as Coumadin please call the facility where your exam is scheduled and notify the mammography department.
Food and drink
Eat a light breakfast or lunch, limiting fluids.
When to arrive
Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled exam
What to wear
Wear a two-piece outfit, since you’ll be asked to undress to the waist. Wear or bring a comfortable bra that provides firm support. Bathe but do not use deodorant, talcum powder, lotion, ointment, or perfume. They can leave a residue on your skin that can affect the quality of the imaging process.
What will I experience DURING my Stereotactic Breast Biopsy?
You’ll be asked to undress from the waist up and put on a front-opening gown. In the biopsy room, you’ll lie on your stomach on a special table with a hole through which the breast is placed and aligned with the imaging unit beneath. You’ll be awake throughout the procedure. The physician performing the procedure will have studied your mammogram to become familiar with the location of the abnormal tissue in your breast. A confirming x-ray is taken to ensure that the breast is positioned correctly. The skin on your breast will be cleansed; then a local anesthetic is injected with a very fine needle. You may feel a slight sting. Your breast will be slightly compressed, just as in a mammogram. A small nick is made in your skin and a thin, hollow needle is inserted through the nick. Because of the local anesthetic, most patients report only a small amount of discomfort. The doctor will use the computerized imaging system to precisely guide the needle to the biopsy area where several small samples will be taken. After the needle is removed, a sterile gauze bandage is placed on the skin to prevent bleeding. An ice pack may also be applied. This procedure requires no stitches.
Length of my Stereotactic Breast Biopsy
Exam time varies but the average is a little over an hour.
What should I expect AFTER my Stereotactic Breast Biopsy?
Before leaving the office, you'll be given instructions for biopsy aftercare that are specific to your individual needs. Your breast should heal quickly, leaving almost no sign of the procedure
Stereotactic Breast Biopsy Results
We understand that quick results are important for our patients. Exams are typically read within 24 hours and results will be sent to your physician who will go over them with you.