Stereotactic Breast Biopsy
Compared to conventional surgical biopsies, the stereotactic system produces less scarring of the breast, which could interfere with future mammograms. Other benefits include less discomfort, no general anesthesia and lower costs.
Patients are informed at all times during the exam about what is occurring. During the procedure, the patient lies on her abdomen on a specially designed exam table. The table is raised and the biopsy is done from below the table. An opening in the table allows access to the breast. The region of interest is centered in the window of a specially designed compression paddle. Computers map the exact location of the mass or calcifications using mammography images taken from two angles. The computer then guides the placement of the needle to the appropriate location.
It is common for multiple tissue samples to be removed and sent to the pathology laboratory for diagnosis. After the exam, the biopsy site will be bandaged and a cold pack applied to relieve swelling and bruising and stop any bleeding. Should there be any bruising around the biopsy site, it will disappear within five to seven days.
Ultrasound Breast Biopsy
Ultrasound is commonly used for breast biopsies. It is quick and relatively painless. The region of interest is anesthetized prior to the biopsy. The ultrasound technologist will then scan the breast to determine the exact point of entry. The doctor will use the ultrasound images to guide the needle into the mass, obtain a sample and then remove the needle – all done. Specimens are sent to a lab for evaluation.
MRI Breast Biopsy
Breast biopsy using MRI is the latest technological development in the diagnosis of a breast mass. The procedure requires the use of an MRI to locate the position of the breast mass and perform a biopsy. The biopsy is done at the same time the mass is identified. The precise location of the mass by MRI offers an efficient method of obtaining a biopsy. Even masses located in different parts of the breast can easily be biopsied. MRI is excellent for evaluating the soft tissues and can identify breast lesions much earlier than other technology. The key to breast cancer treatment is early detection. The early diagnosis of breast lesions also prevents unnecessary surgery.
You will be asked to lie down on a table and the MRI will image your breasts. Once the imaging is complete, the location of any abnormal breast mass is identified by viewing the images generated. The location of the abnormality is then marked on the breast. A local anesthetic is applied to the skin, and then a needle is placed in the area and the sample is biopsied. Sometimes a slightly larger needle, which removes a small, cylindrical-shaped tissue sample, is used. Newer core needle technology uses a special vacuum-assisted needle to draw out tissue. The procedure takes about 30-40 minutes.