Biopsy, Needle Localization using Ultrasound
Wire localization is done before a breast biopsy or lumpectomy. It is done to locate a site of concern that can be seen on an ultrasound, but cannot be felt.
Using ultrasound, a radiologist will place one or more fine needles and wires into the lesion in your breast. This wire will help guide the surgeon to the tissue to be removed.
You will check into the UW Outpatient Surgery Center where you will change into a gown and robe. You will have an IV started. You will be brought by wheelchair to the Breast Center for the procedure.
During the Needle Localization
You will begin by having an ultrasound of your breast. The staff will locate the area of concern.
- The staff will clean your breast with an antiseptic solution.
- The doctor will inject the numbing medicine (lidocaine) into your breast. You will feel a sting, but our goal is that you not feel any pain after this is given.
- A small needle is placed into your breast at the site of concern. You may feel pressure during the procedure. If you feel pain, please let the staff know so that we can help minimize any discomfort or pain.
- When the needle placement is confirmed, the radiologist will remove the needle leaving a thin, thread-like wire in place. The other end of the wire will stick out of your breast and will be taped to the outside of your breast.
- After the procedure is complete two or more mammography pictures are taken to confirm the wire placement. Your surgeon will refer to these during the surgery.
After the Needle Localization
You will be taken by wheelchair back to the Outpatient Surgery center.
Once you have been prepared for surgery, the surgeon will make an incision into your breast to remove the wire and the tissue around it. After the tissue is removed, it is x-rayed to assure that the tissue contains the same area of concern that was seen on ultrasound.
The tissue is sent to our lab where a pathologist will look under a microscope to see what types of cells are present in the tissue removed. Reports are sent to your surgeon when the results are complete. This takes about 3 - 5 days. Your surgeon will contact you to discuss results with you.
The Spanish version of this Health Facts for You is #5989.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 10/13/2011
Copyright © 10/13/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5905
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