After an area of suspicious tissue is found on a mammogram or ultrasound of the breast, your doctor may want a biopsy of the tissue to determine if it is cancerous or not.

A stereotactice breast biopsy allows surgeons or radiologists to use mammography or x-ray technology to guide them while they use a needle to biopsy a small area of the suspicious tissue. The biopsied tissue will then be sent to a laboratory for testing.

What should I know before my biopsy?

Prior to your exam:

  • You may eat a normal diet.
  • If you take aspirin, please discontinue using the aspirin one week prior to the procedure. If you take blood thinners 2 days prior to the procedure and for 2 days after the procedure.
  • Regular medications should be taken as prescribed.
  • A comfortable two-piece garment should be worn.
  • Do not use talcum powder or deodorant on the day of your biopsy.

What will happen during my biopsy?

The procedure will last approximately 90 minutes.

During the exam:

  1. You will lie face down with your breast placed through an opening in the table top. Several x-rays will be taken.
  2. Following a local anesthesia, samples of breast tissue will be removed. Please inform the staff right away if you have any pain during your procedure.
  3. At least 6 samples will be sent to the lab for diagnosis.

What happens when my biopsy exam is complete?

  • After your exam, a pressure bandage will be applied over thin strips of tape. You can remove the bandage after 24 hour. You may shower the next morning, but leave the tape strips on — they will fall off by themselves.
  • You may take non-aspirin pain reliever like Tylenol to alleviate any discomfort, if needed.
  • For relief of local discomfort you may place a plastic bag with some crushed ice on the biopsy site.
  • If you have some bruising, it should disappear in 5 to 7 days.
  • If you notice any excessive swelling, bruising, pain, drainage, redness, or heat, please notify your doctor.

Follow-up Visit

At your follow-up visit, your doctor will review the biopsy results with you. Please contact your doctor if you have any questions before your next scheduled appointment. 

Additional information is available RadiologyInfo.org