Stereotactic Breast Biopsy
Stereotactic breast biopsy uses mammography – a specific type of breast imaging that uses low-dose x-rays — to help locate a breast abnormality and remove a tissue sample for examination under a microscope. It’s less invasive than surgical biopsy, leaves little to no scarring and can be an excellent way to evaluate calcium deposits or tiny masses that are not visible on ultrasound.
Common Uses of the Procedure
A stereotactic breast biopsy may be performed when a mammogram shows a breast abnormality such as:
- A suspicious mass
- A tiny cluster of small calcium deposits called microcalcifications
- A distortion in the structure of the breast tissue
- An area of abnormal changes in the breast tissue
- A new mass or area of calcium deposits in a previous surgery site
If the results from a stereotactic breast biopsy show cancer cells, the surgeon can use that information as they plan out the best form of treatment for the patient.
Women’s Imaging Locations
What to Expect
A special digital mammography machine is used to perform a stereotactic breast biopsy. In most cases, you will lie face down with the affected breast positioned into an opening on a moveable exam table. The breast is compressed and held in position.
Electronic detectors within the machine will then produce images of the breast onto a computer screen. Once the abnormality has been precisely located, the radiologist inserts the needle through a small cut in the skin, then advances it into the lesion and removes tissue samples.
After the biopsy is complete, the opening in the skin is covered with a dressing (no sutures are needed). Breast biopsies are usually done on an outpatient basis and completed within an hour.
Triad Radiology offers Womens Imaging at a variety of locations, including hospitals, imaging centers, and clinics. Contact us if you want to learn more or schedule an appointment.