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A breast biopsy is the removal of breast tissue to examine it for signs of breast cancer or other disorders. Different types of biopsy may be done. One type called stereotactic breast biopsy uses mammography to help pinpoint the spot in the breast that needs to be removed.
Biopsy - breast - stereotactic; Core needle breast biopsy - stereotactic; Stereotactic breast biopsy
You are asked to undress from the waist up.
You are most likely be asked to lie facing down on the biopsy table. The breast that is being biopsied hangs through an opening in the table. The table is raised and the doctor will perform the biopsy from underneath. In some cases, stereotactic breast biopsy is done while the woman sits in an upright position.
A stereotactic biopsy includes the following steps:
The biopsy itself is done using one of the following:
The procedure usually takes about 1 hour. This includes the time it takes for the x-rays. The actual biopsy takes only several minutes.
After the tissue sample has been taken, the catheter or needle is removed. Ice and pressure are applied to the site to stop any bleeding. A bandage will be applied to absorb any fluid. Stitches are not needed. Adhesive strips may be placed over any wound, if needed.
The health care provider will ask about your medical history. A breast exam may be done.
You must sign an informed consent.
If you take medicines (including aspirin or herbal remedies), ask your doctor whether you need to stop taking these before the biopsy.
Tell your doctor if you may be pregnant before having an open biopsy.
Do not use lotion, perfume, powder, or deodorant underneath your arms or on your breasts.
You may feel a sharp, stinging sensation when the local anesthetic is injected. During the procedure, you may feel slight discomfort or light pressure.
Lying on your stomach for up to 1 hour may be uncomfortable. Using cushions or pillows may help. Some patients are given a pill to help relax them before the procedure.
After the test, the breast may be sore and tender for several days. Do not do any heavy lifting or work with your arms for 24 hours after the biopsy. You can use acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen for pain relief.
Stereotactic breast biopsy is used when a small growth or calcifications are seen on a mammogram, but cannot be seen using an ultrasound of the breast.
The tissue samples are sent to a pathologist to be examined.
A normal result means there is no sign of cancer.
Your doctor or nurse will let you know when you need a follow-up mammogram or other tests.
If the biopsy shows benign breast tissue without cancer, you will likely not need surgery.
Sometimes the biopsy results show abnormal signs that are not cancer. In this case, a surgical biopsy might be recommended to remove the whole abnormal area for examination. Biopsy results may show:
Two main types of breast cancer may be found:
Depending on the results of the biopsy, you may need further surgery or treatment.
Your health care provider will discuss the meaning of the biopsy results with you.
There is a slight chance of infection at the injection or surgical cut site.
Bruising is common. But excessive bleeding is rare, in which case may require draining or re-bandaging.
Abeloff MD, Wolff AC, Weber BL, et al. Cancer of the breast. In: Abeloff MD, Armitage JO, Niederhuber JE, Kastan MB, McKena WG, eds. Clinical Oncology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Churchill-Livingstone; 2008:chap 95.
Katz VL, Dotters D. Breast diseases: diagnosis and treatment of benign and malignant disease. In: Lentz GM, Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, Katz VL, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology.6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2012:chap 15.