These procedures involve the use of a computer-assisted positioning device for accurate placement of a needle into the lesion, so it can be sampled by obtaining a core of the tissue. In many instances, this replaces the conventional open surgical biopsy.
The patient will lie face down with the breast positioned comfortably through an opening on the biopsy table. A technologist will take x-rays of the breast that requires biopsy using a computerized mammography machine. This will help locate the lesion and calculate where the radiologist should place the needle. Next, the radiologist will inject a local anesthetic into the area and make a small incision where the needle will be placed. The needle will stay in while the samples are taken.
The procedure takes about 1 hour and most patients experience very little discomfort (usually a small sting from the local anesthetic is all the patient feels). Some patients may feel a little pressure at the moment the biopsy is taken, but the discomfort is minimal. After the procedure, a small band-aid is put on the breast.
If the patient must return to work immediately they may do so, as long as the activity is not strenuous. The tissue samples will be sent to pathology. The pathology report is usually sent to our office within one week of the patient’s appointment. Once the pathology report has been received it will be given to the radiologist who will review the report and films and dictate a letter to the referring physician stating specific recommendations.