Stereotactic Breast Biopsy

Mammography is an excellent way to detect abnormalities in your breast. However, it may not be possible to determine whether a growth is benign or cancerous from imaging studies alone. It may be necessary to obtain a tissue sample for microscopic examination.

Stereotactic breast biopsy is an alternative to an open or surgical biopsy. This minimally invasive, out-patient procedure is quick, safe, and requires minimal recovery time.

How is a stereotactic breast biopsy performed?

  • The patient lies on her stomach with her breast suspended through an opening in the table.
  • The skin is cleansed and a local anesthetic is applied.
  • The breast is slightly compressed, a small nick is made in the skin, and a thin needle is inserted through the nick.
  • A computerized imaging system is used to guide the needle precisely to the area to be biopsied. Several samples are taken.
  • Following removal of the needle, a gauze bandage is placed on the skin to prevent bleeding. The procedure does not require stitches.

Preparation for the procedure

Stereotactic breast biopsy usually takes 30 to 60 minutes. Prior to the biopsy, you are advised to:

  • Avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours
  • Limit fluids the day of the biopsy and eat only light meals
  • Wear a comfortable bra with firm support
  • Wear a two-piece outfit, so you can undress to the waist
  • Bathe prior to the procedure, but do not use deodorant, powder, lotion, or perfume
  • Most women report little or no pain at all. The skin incision is tiny, leaving minimal or no scarring. A pathologist will study the tissue samples under a microscope and forward the results to your physician.

Your physician will schedule your stereotactic breast biopsy. The procedure is done in a quiet, private setting in the Outpatient Radiology department in Suite 260 of the Marshall Nemer Pavilion.

If you have any questions, call us at 270-444-2175.