Patients - Your Exam

Breast Procedures

Stereotactic-Guided Breast Biopsy

A stereotactic-guided biopsy is performed when an abnormality is seen on the

mammogram (but cannot be seen on ultrasound). One of our specialty trained

radiologists uses the mammogram to guide the breast biopsy.

 

A stereotactic-guided biopsy is unique in that the patient will be lying prone

(face down) on the biopsy table and her breast will be placed gently through

an opening in the table. The breast is then placed in light compression and a

series of mammograms are taken to locate the area of concern. After the area

is located within the breast, the skin is sterilized and cleaned. A small amount

of local anesthetic is then used to numb the area of concern within the breast.

After the numbing medication is administered, the procedure is painless (only

a small amount of pressure will be felt). The biopsy device will then be placed

within the breast and the biopsy will be performed. The tissue will be

immediately sent to the pathologist and results are typically available within

3-5 business days. The total time for this procedure is about 30 minutes. 

 

Ultasound-Guided Biopsy

An ultrasound-guided biopsy is performed when an abnormality is seen by ultrasound. The area of concern is localized with the ultrasound machine and one of our specialty trained radiologists uses the ultrasound images to guide the biopsy. An ultrasound-guided biopsy is a simple, outpatient procedure that does not require the use of compression or radiation.

 

Similar to a breast ultrasound, the patient is lying on her back. The area is first sterilized and cleaned. A small amount of local anesthetic is used to numb the area of the breast. After the numbing medication is administered, the procedure is painless (only a small amount of pressure will be felt).  The Radiologist will then use a biopsy device to obtain tissue from the abnormal area in the breast. The tissue will be sent to the pathologist immediately and results are typically available within 3-5 business days. The total time for this procedure is about 15 minutes. 

 

MRI-Guided Biopsy

An MRI-guided biopsy is performed when an abnormality is seen within the breast on a breast MRI (but cannot be seen on the mammogram or ultrasound). One of out specialty trained radiologists uses the MRI to guide the breast biopsy.

 

Similar to a breast MRI, the patient will be lying prone (face down) on the MRI table and her breast will be placed gently though an opening in the table. A series of MRI images are then obtained to localize the area of concern within the breast. Once this area is located, the skin is sterilized and cleaned. A small amount of local anesthetic is then used to numb the area of concern within the breast. After the numbing medication is administered, the procedure is painless (only a small amount of pressure will be felt). The biopsy device will then be placed within the breast and the biopsy will be performed. The tissue will be immediately sent to the pathologist and the results are typically available within 3-5 days. The total time for the procedure is about 1 hour.

 

MRI-guided breast biopsies are currently performed at our Poway office. 

 

Needle(wire) Localization

Needle (wire) localization procedures can be performed with mammographic, ultrasound or MRI guidance. These procedures are performed by one of our specialty trained Radiologists and are typically performed after a breast biopsy, on the morning of breast surgery. Wire localization procedures enable your surgeon to know exactly where the abnormal tissue is within your breast and have been shown to significantly increase the success of surgery (i.e. the surgeon has a better chance of getting all the abnormal tissue at the time of surgery). 

 

Similar to a breast biopsy, the skin is first sterilized and cleansed. A small amount of local anesthetic is then used to numb the area of the breast. After the numbing medication is administered, you should not feel any pain, only a small amount of pressure. A small needle (with a wire threaded through the needle), is then inserted into your breast with the tip of the needle/wire at the site of abnormal tissue. The needle is then removed and wire is left in your breast, marking the area of abnormal tissue for your surgeon. Our team of technologists and support staff will then secure the wire in your breast. From here, you will then travel to the facility your surgery will be performed.

Patient Information