Needle Localization

A needle or wire localization is a pre-surgical procedure in which a wire is inserted, via a hollow needle into the breast to localize either a mass or calcifications which cannot be felt on physical examination or to localize a clip which has been placed during a stereotactic biopsy.

You will come to Radiology where the radiologist uses mammography or ultrasound to guide the needle into the area of concern. The needle is then removed and a flexible wire is left in place in your breast. This is called "needle localization". The wire is then covered with a dressing to hold it in place. The average time for this part of the procedure is 30-60 minutes.

You will then be taken to the operating room where the surgeon will remove the targeted tissue. The tissue will be sent to the Mammography Suite to be x-rayed to be sure the correct tissue was removed. It will then be sent to Pathology to be evaluated.