If your last mammogram showed an area within your breast which required further evaluation, your physician may recommend a stereotactic needle biopsy. This procedure uses a specialized X-ray unit and computer.
The special equipment will provide very accurate localization of the area of focus and will guide a hollow needle to extract small samples of tissue from your breast.
Do not be overly concerned that you need to have a biopsy. Approximately eight out of ten biopsies are not cancerous. When a cancerous tumor is found, the chance for a complete recovery is extremely high when detection is early.
How do I prepare for the exam?
You may have a light breakfast or lunch.
If you take aspirin on a regular basis, please stop taking it three days before your procedure. If you take other blood thinners, please tell us so we can check with your physician. Take your other regular medications as prescribed.
Wear a comfortable two piece outer garment. Avoid using any powder or deodorant on the day of your biopsy.
You will need to arrive 30 minutes prior to the scheduled exam time.
What can I expect during the exam?
During the exam, you will lie on your stomach on a specially designed table with your breast placed through an opening in the table top. The table will be raised so the radiologist and mammography technologists can perform the procedure from beneath.
Your breast will be slightly compressed and held in position throughout the procedure. X-rays will be taken as needed to guide the biopsy. You will feel a small skin prick as the skin of your breast is anesthetized. You will feel some pressure as a small biopsy needle is inserted into the breast to extract small pieces of tissue from the area of focus.
As the samples are taken, you may hear a "click" from the specially designed biopsy instrument. The number of samples will vary but will usually range from five to ten. You will feel slight pressure but should not have pain.
During the procedure, we will inform you about what is happening and what you will need to do to assist with the exam. It will last approximately one hour.
After the Exam
After the exam, there will be some bleeding where the needle was placed. This will be bandaged and a cold pack applied to reduce swelling and bruising. You may take a non-aspirin pain reliever such as Tylenol every four to six hours if needed for any discomfort.
You will notice some bruising of the area, which should resolve in five to seven days. If you have any excessive swelling, bleeding, drainage, redness or heat, please contact us right away.
The specimens taken during the biopsy will be evaluated by pathology, and your doctor will receive the results. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at 217-788-4509.