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Image-Guided Core Needle Breast Biopsies

When an imaging study shows that you might have breast cancer, your doctor typically will recommend that you have a minimally invasive breast biopsy by a breast radiologist.

 

Image-guided core (small cylinder of tissue) needle biopsy is the preferred way to diagnose a cancer or benign mass because it decreases the number of surgeries that are needed. The radiologist will use ultrasound, stereotactic (mammography) or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to guide the procedure.

 

Ultrasound-Guided Core Needle Breast Biopsy

 

What is it?

 

An ultrasound-guided breast biopsy uses ultrasound pictures to guide the radiologist to the correct place for taking tissue samples. These biopsies are most commonly performed for masses or other defined ultrasound findings.

 

During your Ultrasound Biopsy Procedure

 

You will be lie on your back on a cushioned bed. Ultrasound images will be taken before and during the procedure to guide the radiologist to the correct location in the breast. The radiologist will use medicine to numb the breast and place the biopsy device. Next, the radiologist will take several small samples of tissue, and a clip will be placed to mark the location of the biopsy. The biopsy clip may be needed to find the area on future breast X-rays or for surgery. After the biopsy is complete, a gentle mammogram will be performed to look at the location of the biopsy clip.

 

Stereotactic-Guided Core Needle Breast Biopsy

 

What is it?

 

Stereotactic and tomosynthesis-guided breast biopsy systems use mammogram images to guide the radiologist to the correct place for taking tissue samples. These biopsies are most commonly performed for calcifications found on mammograms or for other imaging findings that are only seen or best seen with mammograms or digital breast tomosynthesis.

 

During your Biopsy Procedure

 

UW Health is committed to providing our patients with the newest technologies available. Currently UW Health Breast Imaging has two types of systems that use mammography and or/digital breast tomosynthesis to guide radiologists to the correct location in the breast for taking tissue biopsy samples. The choice of system depends on many factors, including the type and location of finding, patient mobility and weight.

 

Depending on the system, you may lie on your stomach and your breast will come through an opening in a special bed, or you may be in a seated position. Your breast will be compressed, and mammogram/tomosynthesis images will be taken several times to guide the radiologist to the location in the breast that needs to be biopsied. The radiologist will use medicine to numb the breast and place the biopsy device. Next, the radiologist will take several small samples of tissue, and clip will be placed to mark the location of the biopsy for future mammograms or surgery. After the biopsy is complete, a gentle mammogram will be performed to look at the location of the biopsy clip.

 

MRI-Guided Core Needle Breast Biopsy

 

What is it?

 

An MRI-guided breast biopsy uses an intravenous (IV) contrast agent (liquid) and MRI images to guide placement of a biopsy device and take small samples of tissue. MRI is used to guide biopsy when there is an imaging finding can be seen only on MRI or when the finding is likely to be seen only on MRI.

 

During your MRI Biopsy Procedure

 

Before the exam, an intravenous (IV) needle will be placed in your arm. The MRI technologist will give you earplugs to wear. You will lie on your stomach on a special bed, similar to when the original breast MRI was performed. Your breast will be lightly compressed by a plate on either side to hold the breast in position.

 

The MRI bed will be moved into the scanner, and several pictures will be taken. You will hear normal pounding and clicking sounds coming from the scanner. Images will be obtained before and after contrast agent is injected through the IV. The MRI bed will be moved in and out of the scanner several times so that additional images can be taken to guide the radiologist. It is very important to remain still during the procedure.

 

The radiologist will use medicine to numb the breast and use the MRI pictures to place the biopsy device. Next, the radiologist will take several small samples of tissue, and clip will be placed to mark the location of the biopsy. After the biopsy is complete, a gentle mammogram will be performed to look at the location of the biopsy clip.

 

After your Image-Guided Breast Biopsy

 

It is common to have mild discomfort and bruising after the procedure. The nurse and radiologist taking care of you will talk with you about what to expect and how to take care of the biopsy site. The results of your biopsy will be available in a few days, and we will contact you and/or your healthcare provider with the results.