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Breast Biopsy

  • Stereotactic Breast Biopsy
  • MRI Biopsy
  • Ultrasound Guided Biopsy

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Breast Biopsy

What is a breast biopsy?

A breast biopsy means that a small piece of tissue is removed from the breast. It is generally done in radiology, using Stereotactic, MRI, or Ultrasound for guidance. The area is made very numb before a small, hollow needle is inserted into the precise area. This procedure takes much less time than a surgical biopsy, and requires almost no recovery time.

Who will perform my breast biopsy?

Each of the radiologists has years of experience performing minimally invasive breast biopsies. Before the procedure, the breast radiologist will discuss the procedure in detail, and answer all of your questions.

What happens if I have pain?

If you have any pain or discomfort at any time, just let the radiology technologist or doctor know, and they will treat you accordingly.

My friend had her biopsy using MRI. Why is my biopsy done using Ultrasound?

Each and every patient is unique, and all biopsy procedures are tailored to the individual needs of the patient. In the past, surgeons removed abnormalities through incisions in the breast. Now, when an abnormality is seen by MRI, mammography or ultrasound, a targeted biopsy using a skinny needle, can be precisely placed into the abnormality. If the abnormality is seen best by ultrasound, radiologists use that method to guide the procedure. If it is seen best by MRI or mammography, the biopsy is performed using those imaging tools.

What will the biopsy be like?

You will be wide awake during the radiology-guided breast biopsy, and should have little or no pain or discomfort. An MRI biopsy and a stereotactic biopsy take less than an hour and an ultrasound usually takes less than 30 minutes. Before the procedure, we will reimage your breast. We will then clean it well, and make it numb with a very tiny needle. Cells will then be withdrawn through a hollow needle and sent to the pathology lab to examine under the microscope.

Why is a marker left behind in the breast?

Following image-guided ultrasound, stereotactic and MRI biopsies, a tiny titanium clip is left behind through the needle at the biopsy site. This is done for two reasons. If the biopsy is benign, we want to be certain we don’t need to biopsy the same spot again. If there are tumor cells (cancer) in the biopsy, the marker is a landmark to guide the breast surgeon to remove the exact area. The clip cannot be felt, does not cause the airport alarms to go off, and is safe for all future tests, including MRI.

When will I get results?

After a breast biopsy, the tissue needs to be processed in the laboratory, and then examined under a microscope by one of our highly trained breast pathologists. This can take a few days. As soon as we have the results back from the laboratory, you will receive a call from DIS or the referring physician with the results.