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.