Sometimes an area identified on mammography images is considered to be of clinical concern, and may need to be biopsied. Alternatively it may be an area that can be felt during breast examination but is not well seen on mammography images.
A core biopsy of an area can be performed by a radiologist using ultrasound to guide the needle to the correct position. The biopsy involves taking a fine sliver of tissue to be taken for analysis.
Local anaesthetic is injected into the skin and a fine biopsy needle is inserted into the area. It is usual to take several samples to ensure that a representative sample has been obtained from the area of concern.
The procedure takes approximately 30 minutes and is generally well tolerated by most women. There may be some bruising as a result of the procedure but mild painkillers and application of ice can help with that.
After the procedure the tissue samples are sent to the pathology laboratory for analysis. The results are sent to the doctor or specialist that requested the biopsy and is co-ordinating your care.
A stereotactic biopsy is a minimally invasive procedure where a stereotactic device is attached to the mammographic system. This enables the radiologist to accurately biopsy areas seen on a mammogram that are not seen on ultrasound or through clinical examination.
The procedure takes approximately 45-60 minutes. A dedicated, reclinable chair is used and you will either be sitting or lying down. Local anaesthetic is injected into the skin and then approximately 5-10 small tissue samples are taken. Mammographic images are taken throughout the procedure to confirm the correct area is targeted.
The procedure is generally well tolerated by all women. There will be some minor bruising and pain but mild painkillers and a cold compress will help this.
After any biopsy procedure the tissue samples are sent to the Laboratory for analysis. These results are sent to the doctor or specialist that requested the biopsy and who is co-ordinating your care. These are generally available within one week of the procedure.