Stereotactic Breast Biopsy - Asante

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Published on April 08, 2016

Stereotactic Breast Biopsy

Patient Guide

When you want answers, Asante Imaging is here for you with our expert staff and advanced technology. Keep in mind that most of the time an area of concern on your mammogram is not cancerous. If a radiologist has identified a suspicious area, a simple tissue sample will determine if it is malignant (cancerous) or  benign (no evidence of cancer).

Until recently, the standard process for obtaining this sample has been a surgical biopsy. Asante Imaging offers an alternative method of obtaining thi­s sample. The stereotactic breast biopsy is less invasive, less costly, requires less time, and leaves no disfiguring scars or deformity. It’s one of  the newest and most advanced methods of extracting a core sample of a suspicious breast lesion with the use of a biopsy needle.

How Accurate Is It?

The results of multiple studies on hundreds of women indicate that the accuracy of the stereotactic breast biopsy is equal to that of a surgical biopsy: 98 percent accuracy for both procedures.

What Does the Exam Involve?

During the procedure most patients will be seated in a chair. In a few cases patients may be lying on their side. Your breast is positioned with light compression, and X-rays are taken to precisely calculate the location of the area in question. The area is then cleaned with a cool antiseptic solution, and the radiologist injects a local anesthetic, causing a few seconds of discomfort.

Once the area is numb, the radiologist uses a biopsy needle to remove several small samples of tissue. Multiple samples are taken to ensure that sufficient tissue is sent to the pathology lab. It is important that you remain still during the procedure. The entire procedure takes approximately 60 minutes. Allow time to meet the radiologist and answer questions prior to procedure.

How Long Until I Receive the Results?

After the pathology lab receives the tissue samples, it usually takes about 72 hours to process the samples and report the findings to­­ your healthcare provider, who will notify you of the results.

What Are the Risks?

The risks of a stereotactic biopsy are minimal. As with any procedure involving a needle, there is minimal risk of infection. You may experience minimal bleeding at the entry site, and you may have some bruising over the next several days.

What Is a Microclip Marker?

It is common to place a tiny microclip marker in the biopsied area for several reasons. If the area in question is totally removed during the biopsy, the marker will identify the region for future reference.  On future mammograms the clip will be visible and indicates that a biopsy had been performed in that area. The microclip marker is made of titanium and has no adverse affects in the breast. It does not activate airport sensors nor interfere with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedures.

What Can I Do After the Biopsy?

The technologist will apply a bandage over the area of the biopsy. You will not be able to shower for  24 hours, and we ask that you also refrain from strenuous activity, to avoid the risk of complications. The technologist will provide you with post-procedure instructions.

How Do I Prepare for the Biopsy?
  • For your comfort we recommend that you wear a two-piece outfit—a top with a skirt or slacks—because you will need to undress above the waist.
  • Do not use deodorants, perfumes, powders, or creams of any kind under your arms or on your breasts.
  • If you routinely take a blood-thinning medication (such as Heparin or Coumadin), please inform us before scheduling the exam.

Reviewed by Philip Stanley on April 08, 2016

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As the largest healthcare provider in nine counties, Asante provides comprehensive medical care to more than 580,000 people throughout Southern Oregon and Northern California. Our facilities include Asante Ashland Community Hospital in Ashland, Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford, Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass, Asante Physician Partners and additional healthcare partnerships throughout the region.

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