MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) Core Breast Biopsy
Based on the results of your last MRI, the radiologist has recommended a core breast biopsy. This method is used when the area of concern is best seen, or only seen, using MRI. It can be done through a small incision without using stitches. Using a hollow core needle, the doctor removes small tissue samples from a specific part of the breast. The doctor guides the needle to the correct spot using MRI.
Why perform MRI core biopsy?
This biopsy removes just enough tissue to make a diagnosis. It may help to avoid a more extensive surgery.
Before the Procedure
A Breast CEnter nurse will review all your prescribed and over-the-counter medicines. You will need to stop any blood thinners 5 days before the biopsy. These include:
- Aspirin (Ecotrin®, Excedrin®, Alka-Seltzer®, Anacin®, etc.) Ibuprofen,, Motrin• Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (Advil , Etodolac, Indomethacin, Diclofenac, Naproxen, Naprosyn, NuprinAleve (Voltaren) Nambumetone (Relafen) etc.)
- Vitamin E, Omega 3 Oils such as Fish or Flaxseed; Ginger, Ginkgo Biloba, Ginseng, and all herbal medicines or teas
- Enoxaparin (Lovenox) or Clopidogrel (Plavix). • Warfarin or Coumadin. We will work with your doctor to stop these.
You may take Tylenol as needed during this time (if you do not have liver disease).
A nurse will review all allergies. This includes all medicines, latex, metal, and tape.
You will remain awake for the biopsy. If you would like a relaxant to calm you for the biopsy the nurse will contact your primary doctor for this. This must be arranged in advance as the MRI department does not provide these medications. If you decide to take a relaxant, you must have someone drive you home after the biopsy. Do not drive or make important personal or business decisions until the next day.
On the day of the biopsy, it is recommended, but not required, that you not eat anything 2 hours before your procedure. If you tolerated your first MRI without nausea or vomiting, it is recommended that you eat a light meal prior tothe biopsy. If you are diabetic or otherwise may need to eat, please call MRI Scheduling at (608) 263- 5655 prior to your procedure to discuss.
Wear comfortable clothing. A two-piece outfit is best.
Do not wear talcum powder or deodorant.
It is best if a friend or family member comes with you. Plan on being in the MRI area about 2 hours. After MRI, you will proceed to the Breast Center for mammogram follow-up. You should plan on being in the Breast Center for 30-45 minutes.
During the Procedure
You will dress in a gown and have an IV placed before the MRI.
You will lie face down on the table on a slight incline. Your breast will be placed into a holder and held in place with slight compression with a grid paddle. You will be placed feet first into the MRI scanner. A dye (contrast) will be given into an IV during the scan. When it is given, you may feel coolness at the IV site and in the arm.
The dye helps produce stronger, clearer images, and highlights the area to be biopsied.
You will be brought out of the MRI tube so the doctor can start the biopsy. The doctor will inject a numbing medication called LidocaineÒ into your breast. You will feel a sting, but the medication numbs quickly and this will go away. You may feel pressure during the procedure. If you feel pain, let the staff know so that we can help minimize any discomfort.
Once your breast is numb, a small nick will be made in your breast and a plastic catheter will be placed into your breast. You will be placed in the scanner again and pictures will be taken to assure this plastic catheter is in the area to biopsied. You will again be brought out of the MRI scanner and a needle will be placed where the plastic catheter is.
You will hear a buzzing noise from the biopsy machine as the samples are removed. Several cores of tissue are taken. The samples will be sent to pathology. You will then be scanned one last time after the biopsy, so the doctor can view the final biopsy site.
After the biopsy, a small titanium marker will be placed in the breast. It will be seen on future images. There are no known risks with having the marker. You do not need to worry about metal detectors or future MRI procedures, as titanium is not affected by this type of equipment.
The needle will be removed from your breast. There may be slight bleeding. Pressure will be applied until it stops. The site will be covered with thin strip of tape (Steri-strips). A cold pack will be placed on the area.
A final mammogram in the Breast Center will be performed to check for marker placement and assure the biopsy went as planned.
Care after the Biopsy
You will meet with a nurse in the Breast Center after the biopsy and mammogram. The nurse will assess the biopsy site for any bleeding and place a protective bandage over the biopsy site.
Your pathology results will be available in 3-4 working days. Your doctor’s office or the Breast Center staff will call you with your results.
For the first 24 hours avoid vigorous arm movements and heavy lifting (more than 10 pounds). If you wish, you may return to work and most activities the next day.
Apply ice to the biopsy area for 20-30 minutes at least 3 times the day of the biopsy and then as needed. This will help to reduce swelling and pain. Do not place ice directly on the skin.
Remove the protective bandage the next day. The Steri-Strips will loosen and come off on their own in about 7 days. If they are still in place after 7 days you may gently remove them.
It is recommended you wear a comfortable supportive bra to minimize breast movement. A sports bra works best.
You may shower the next day allowing water to run over the biopsy site. Pat this area dry. Do not soak in a tub or pool for 48 hours.
You may have some mild discomfort and bruising. This should go away in about a week. If you need something for discomfort, Tylenol® will often manage this pain. Take as directed. You may take Ibuprofen as needed 24 hours after the biopsy and if there are no signs of bleeding.
Monitor for any signs of infection such as a temperature over 100.4°F, significant swelling, firmness or warmth, increased redness or drainage around the site that is pus-like. Call the Breast Center with any concerns.
Please call if you are having heavy bleeding from the biopsy site (bleeding that soaks the bandage or that is flowing from the site). Hold firm pressure to the site if this occurs. It is normal to have a small amount of blood (dime to quarter size) show through on the bandage.
If you have questions or concerns, please call:
Breast Center Triage Nurse Line (608) 262-1368 Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; this line is checked frequently; or MRI scheduling at (608) 263-323-8942 if you need to reschedule.
After hours and weekends, call (608) 262-0486. This will give you the paging operator. Ask to speak to the radiologist on call. Give the operator your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back. For medical emergencies, call 911.
If you live out of the area, call 1-800-323-8942.
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: 01/30/2013
Copyright © 12/02/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6009
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