Stereotactic & Ultrasound Breast Needle Biopsy
What is a needle biopsy of the breast?
Biopsies are the only definitive way to confirm if breast tissue is benign or cancerous. Needle biopsy is a safe, minimally invasive procedure used to get a sample from an abnormal breast lesion. Small amounts of breast tissue are removed through a needle, and the tissue is studied under a microscope by a pathologist, who will then provide a diagnosis.
There are various methods by which a needle biopsy can be performed. An ultrasound-guided biopsy is a technique most often used to guide a breast biopsy when a breast abnormality is visible on ultrasound.
A stereotactic breast biopsy allows for a needle biopsy to be performed on lesions, which are more conspicuous on mammograms than on ultrasound. This type of biopsy utilizes x-ray images (mammograms) of the breast tissue to guide the biopsy needle to the area of interest. Stereotactic biopsies are most commonly performed on breast calcifications, but may also be utilized on breast masses in certain situations.
How do I make an appointment for a breast needle biopsy at RCI?
Looking for a breast needle biopsy in Cedar Rapids? Turn to RCI. Breast biopsy procedures are scheduled by our breast coordinators. They will coordinate with your referring physician to schedule an appointment for you.
How should I prepare for my breast needle biopsy at RCI?
We realize that a biopsy may be an emotional experience. However, patient comfort—in addition to an accurate diagnosis—is our priority. RCI’s radiologists and staff are trained to make this procedure as comfortable and quick as possible. A needle biopsy can be performed with local anesthetic and minimal discomfort. With this procedure, no stitches are required and most women can resume normal daily activity immediately. Keep in mind that more than 80% of all breast abnormalities are benign or non-cancerous.
If it makes you feel more comfortable, you may want a relative or friend to join you to lend support and drive you home. Please do not take aspirin or Ibuprofen for 5-7 days prior to biopsy. Prior to your appointment, please let the staff know if you are taking any blood thinners—you will be given specific instructions for discontinuing these medications. Please wear a supportive bra to help maintain the post-biopsy dressing. It is helpful to wear a two-piece outfit, preferably one that buttons up the front. No change of eating habits is required.
What can I expect?
You will lie on your back or turn slightly to the side. The ultrasound probe is used to locate the lesion. Local anesthetic is injected to ensure that you will be comfortable. The radiologist will then create a small nick in the skin through which the biopsy needle will be inserted, and several samples of tissue will be obtained for evaluation. We will provide you with an ice pack and post-biopsy care instructions.
Stereotactic breast biopsy
This minimally invasive procedure requires you to be positioned lying face down on a specially designed table used specifically for breast biopsies. Your breasts are actually positioned through an opening in the table. We will then clean the skin and inject a local anesthetic. A tiny incision less than a quarter of an inch is made without causing any significant alteration in the appearance of the breast. The radiologist will remove several samples of tissue through this incision. A small marking clip is left at the biopsy site so that it can be easily relocated for surgery or follow up, if needed. We will provide you with an ice pack and post-biopsy care instructions.
After your breast needle biopsy at RCI
After your biopsy, do not participate in any strenuous activity for 24 hours or take aspirin for 48 hours. You will be given an ice pack to place inside of your bra. Apply the ice pack to the biopsy site for 20 minutes every hour for the first 4 hours after the procedure, then as needed to reduce swelling and discomfort. You are also asked to sleep in your bra for the next 2 nights. You may take Tylenol if needed for any discomfort. The Steri-StripsTM may be removed 3 days after the biopsy. You may bathe carefully with the Steri-StripsTM in place, being careful not to loosen them. You may have some discomfort or bruising at the skin incision site. Watch for excessive bleeding, pain or fever. Should any of these occur, contact our office at 319-364-0121.
Biopsy samples are sent to a pathologist, who will analyze and provide your physician and RCI with a diagnosis. You will be notified of results within several days of your biopsy appointment.
For more information on this and other radiology procedures, please visit www.radiologyinfo.org.
RCI is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR).