Pre-Surgical Localization Breast Procedures

These are techniques for localizing non-palpable breast lesions prior to surgical removal. Your pre-op localization procedure will be scheduled by your surgeon's office. These exams are performed at The Jewish Hospital - Mercy Health.

Radioactive Seed-Guided

A radioactive seed is placed in the suspicious area of the breast using mammography or ultrasound for guidance. The radioactivity in the seed is minimal. With this procedure, the patient’s x-ray exposure is less than that of a chest x-ray. The surgeon uses a probe in the operating room to localize and remove the seed and suspicious breast tissue.  This procedure can be performed up to five days prior to surgery.


During this procedure a wire is guided through the skin under the guidance of mammography or ultrasound to the non-palpable suspicious breast abnormality. The surgeon uses the wire to guide the surgical removal of the abnormality. As you go to surgery the day of wire placement, preoperative instructions will be provided by your surgeon.

Preparation for localization procedures:

  • No preparation is needed for radioactive seed-guided localization as these procedures are generally performed up to three days before surgery.
  • For wire-guided localization, patients go to surgery the day of wire placement, and pre-operative instructions will be provided by the surgeon.