A stereotactic breast biopsy greatly lessens the pain of a breast biopsy while increasing accuracy and speed.
In a stereotactic biopsy, tissue is removed from the abnormal area only. This procedure generally requires no stitches, and leaves virtually no scarring or disfigurement while enabling you to continue your normal activities soon after the procedure. If the area of concern is benign, no further treatment is necessary. If the finding is malignant, your doctor will share further options with you. Approximately 80% of abnormalities are benign and present no health risk.
How does Stereotactic Breast Biospy work?
During stereotactic breast biopsy, a woman lies face down on a specially designed table. The breast is guided through an opening in the table and held in place for viewing. The technologists will position the breast and take x-ray images to determine the precise location of the area of concern. The physician will then numb the area with a local anesthetic. A small incision is made in the breast and the biopsy needle is inserted. Multiple small tissue samples will be taken. After the biopsy is completed, more x-rays are taken to be sure that enough tissue was removed. A small clip is then inserted in the breast, so that if additional surgery is needed, the exact area can be localized. The technologist will then apply pressure to the incision area for a short time to prevent bleeding. A post-biopsy mammogram is also performed. When that is completed, a dressing and a small ice pack is applied to the breast. Post biopsy instructions will be explained by the technologist. A follow-up appointment will be made with the patient's physician before they leave.
How should you prepare?
In order to have this procedure, the patient must be able to lie on their stomach. There is a weight limit for the specialized table which is 300 pounds. If you are on blood thinners, you will be required to be off of them for several days. You will have to have a blood test prior to the procedure to be sure your blood is clotting properly. If you are taking aspirin you will need to stop taking it 3 days prior to your biopsy.
There are no dietary restrictions; however, you will be lying on your stomach for the procedure so you may wish to have a light breakfast or lunch depending on when your procedure is scheduled.
You will need to undress from the waist up so it is recommended you wear a two piece outfit and a support bra.
You will be here for approximately 1 hour. Much of this time is spent positioning the area of interest and preparing for the biopsy.
After the Biopsy
It will be necessary for you to have a ride home following your procedure. Most women return to their normal routine immediately; however, we recommend no strenuous activity for 24 hours.
The technologist performing the biopsy will give you aftercare instructions before you leave the Breast Care Center.