What Is Image-Guided Breast Biopsy?
A critical step in the diagnostic process for cancer, biopsy involves removing a sample of suspicious tissue for laboratory analysis to determine if the tissue cells are cancerous.
Biopsies sometimes require major surgery, but image-guided biopsy has emerged as a less invasive interventional radiology procedure especially suitable as a test for breast cancer. In image-guided biopsy, a radiologist extracts a tiny sample of tissue using a needle guided precisely to the correct location using high-end medical imaging equipment.
As one of the few imaging centers in Michigan to have won accreditation as a Breast Center of Excellence from the American College of Radiology, RMI provides three classes of image-guided breast biopsy:
- MRI-Guided Breast Biopsy (see our MRI page for general information)
- Stereotactic-Guided Breast Biopsy – uses X-rays from a special mammography machine designed for use in biopsies (see our mammography page for general information)
- Ultrasound-Guided Breast Biopsy – uses sound waves (see our Ultrasound page for general information)
The type of image-guided biopsy your physician orders will depend on your specific situation, such as the location of a suspicious mass, your medical history, or the imaging method that initially identified a suspicious area. The primary difference among the procedures is the type of imaging technology used to guide the needle.
Is there any preparation necessary before the biopsy?
No. Be comfortable. Eat what you generally eat, and take any medications you normally take. If you are taking blood thinners, such as aspirin or Coumadin (Warfarin), we may need to make special arrangements. If you have been told to take antibiotics before any procedure because of a heart condition or joint replacement surgery, let us know.
To further prepare you for your procedure, RMI will contact you before the day of your appointment to discuss what you should expect.