What to Expect

When you arrive we will give you a detailed explanation specific to your procedure, and we will ask you to sign a consent form. You will be asked to change into a gown. Once you are in the proper position, your skin will be cleaned and numbed.

The method differs somewhat for each modality.

Stereotactic biopsy

You will lie face down on a special table. The technologist will help you get in a position to ensure your optimal comfort. The breast of concern is positioned by the technologist and the procedure is performed by the radiologist. The radiologist is guided by taking X-rays of your breast while you are lying on the table.

Ultrasound-guided biopsy

You will lie on your back on a padded table, with the arm of the affected side resting on a pillow over your head. The technologist will scan your breast with an ultrasound probe to localize the suspicious area, and the radiologist will then perform the biopsy.

MRI-guided biopsy

You will lie face down, with your breast hanging in a specialized radio-frequency coil. Contrast medium will be injected into a vein in your arm and an MRI scan will be done to localize the area for the radiologist. Once the area is precisely located, the biopsy procedure will be performed.

Frequently, after tissue samples have been removed, a tiny marker particle called a “clip” is left inside your breast to identify the biopsy site. If a “clip” is inserted into the biopsy site, a mammogram will be taken after the biopsy to document its placement.

When the biopsy is over, the technologist will hold pressure on the biopsy site for 10 minutes to stop any bleeding. The site will be dressed with gauze and surgical tape, and an ice pack will be placed on it to reduce swelling and bruising.

We then send the tissue sample to the pathologist who will issue a report to your doctor, usually within two business days. The pathologist’s report will be delivered to your physician, usually within two days.