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Interventional Breast Procedures

An image-guided biopsy of the breast is performed by taking samples of an abnormality under some form of guidance such as ultrasound, MRI, or mammography. A breast biopsy is performed to remove some tissue from a suspicious area in the breast. The tissue will then be examined in the laboratory under a microscope to determine a diagnosis. This can be performed surgically or, more commonly, by a radiologist using a less invasive procedure that involves a hollow needle and image-guidance. The biopsy is not designed to remove the entire lesion, only to obtain a small sample of the abnormality for further analysis.

How to Prepare for Interventional Breast Procedures

A consultation is generally scheduled before breast biopsies. At this time, you will be given instructions on how to prepare and an explanation of what to expect by a radiologist. The results of your biopsy will be sent to your physician.

Please arrive 30 minutes before appointment time to register and complete the necessary paperwork.

What to Expect During an Image-Guided Needle Biopsy of the Breast

A specially trained radiologist most often performs Image-guided, minimally invasive breast procedures on an outpatient basis. Images will be obtained from the area of interest after a local anesthetic has been injected into the skin and more deeply into the breast to numb it. A very small nick is made in the skin at the site where the biopsy needle is to be inserted, and tissue samples are then removed. Typically, 3 to 12 samples are obtained, depending on the device used. A small marker may be placed at the biopsy site so it can be located in the future if necessary. Once the biopsy is complete, pressure will be applied to stop any bleeding, and the opening in the skin is covered with a dressing. No sutures are needed.

Mammogram images are obtained after the exam is complete. This procedure is usually completed within an hour, and results will be sent to the referring physician within 24-48 hours.