A specially trained radiologist most often performs image-guided, minimally invasive procedures, such as stereotactic breast biopsies. This procedure is used to obtain a more precise diagnosis of suspicious tissue changes that have been located in the breast.
What to expect
- You will be given a local anesthetic before the procedure.
- You will lie in a comfortable position on a stereotactic table.
- The breast to be examined will hang down through an opening.
- A mammogram will be taken of the breast in compressed form and the suspicious site will located using a digital stereotactic X-ray.
- A biopsy needle will be aimed at the suspected site with computer guidance and placed in the center of the segment of tissue to be examined.
- A tiny skin nick is made in your breast to insert the needle for the biopsy. The incision does not need to be stitched at the end of the test.
- Removal of the tissue samples takes about 20 minutes. Afterward, you will be asked to keep tight pressure on your breast for about 20 minutes while lying down.
- After the exam, there will be some bleeding where the needle was placed. The incision will be bandaged and a cold pack will be applied to relieve any swelling.
- You may take a non-aspirin pain reliever, like Tylenol, to help alleviate any discomfort.
- You may notice some bruising of the area, which should resolve within five to seven days.
- You may resume normal activities after the exam, however you should take it easy for about 24 hours after the biopsy is performed.
How to prepare for the exam
- Wear a comfortable two-piece outfit.
- You may eat a light breakfast.
- Discontinue use of aspirin or blood thinners for at least one week prior to the exam.
- Do not use any powder, deodorant, lotion, or perfume on the day of the procedure.
- Arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled exam to allow time to change your clothes and register.