Stereotactic-guided breast biopsy uses a specially designed digital mammography machine that images the breast with X-rays taken from different angles. This identifies coordinates that tell a radiologist where to insert a biopsy needle, which extracts small samples from the precise location of suspicious tissue to be tested for breast cancer. After the biopsy, the tissue samples are tested in a laboratory to determine if they are cancerous.
Who Benefits from Stereotactic-Guided Breast Biopsy?
Stereotactic-guided breast biopsy is often the best procedure for breast cancer diagnosis when the suspicious tissue was originally identified through a mammogram.
Preparing for Stereotactic-Guided Breast Biopsy
RMI will contact you prior to your appointment to discuss how to prepare. Generally, preparations and guidelines are the same as for a regular mammogram (see our mammography page for more information). You can expect to wear a gown that RMI will provide. You may also need to remove any jewelry or metallic accessories that could interfere with the X-rays.
You will be positioned on your abdomen with your head facing to the side.
To numb the breast so that you will feel little or no sensation when the biopsy needle is inserted, you will receive a local anesthetic.
The procedure is done on an outpatient basis and is virtually painless, taking about one hour. We may recommend that you use a cold pack and over-the-counter pain medications to relieve any discomfort from mild swelling or bruising after the procedure. You should avoid strenuous activity for the first 24 hours, but you should otherwise be able to resume a normal routine.