What is Image Guided Breast Biopsy?

Lumps or abnormalities in the breast are often detected by physical examination, mammography, or other imaging studies. However, it is not always possible to tell from these imaging tests whether a growth is benign or cancerous. A breast biopsy is performed to remove some cells from a suspicious area in the breast and examine them under a microscope to determine a diagnosis. This can be performed surgically or, more commonly, by a radiologist using a less invasive procedure that involves a hollow needle and image-guidance. Image-guided needle biopsy is not designed to remove the entire lesion. Image-guided biopsy is performed by taking samples of an abnormality under some form of imaging.

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 lump or 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.

Ultrasound-Guided Breast Biopsy

An ultrasound-guided breast biopsy uses sound waves to help locate a lump or abnormality and remove a tissue sample for examination under a microscope. It is less invasive than surgical biopsy, leaves little to no scarring and does not involve exposure to ionizing radiation.

MRI Guided Breast Biopsy

Using the powerful magnetic field of MRI, radio waves and a computer to help locate a breast lump or abnormality and guide a needle to remove a tissue sample for examination under a microscope. It does not use ionizing radiation and leaves little to no scarring.

What can I expect during this procedure?

The area will be anesthetized and a needle will be inserted through the surface of the skin into the area of concern. Multiple samples will be taken of the nodule and sent to a laboratory for analysis. If the nodule is fluid filled the fluid will be drained and also sent for analysis.