Stereotactic Breast Biopsy

The role of this procedure is to obtain a tissue sample from the area of abnormality identified on your mammogram and/or breast ultrasound procedure.

During Your Exam

You will be asked to lie face down on a special table, and your breast will be positioned through a special round opening in the table. The table will be elevated so the physician/radiologist, nurse and technologist can work from below.

The first part of the procedure will seem much like your mammogram, except you are lying down instead of standing. A confirming x-ray will be taken to ensure that the area of the breast containing the lesion is correctly centered in the window.

When the position is confirmed, two stereo x-rays will be taken. They are called stereo because they are images of the same area from different angles. With the help of the computer, the exact position for placing the biopsy needle is determined from these images.

Using this information, the physician will then position the device, which holds the biopsy needle for the correct angle of entry. Next, the physician will use a very small needle to numb the biopsy area. You may feel a slight sting in your breast at the injection site.

After the local anesthetic has taken effect, the physician will insert the biopsy needle into your breast. Another set of stereo x-rays will be taken to confirm proper needle placement. Once placement is confirmed, the radiologist will instruct you to hold very still while the tissue sample is acquired.

The needle, which now contains the sample, is withdrawn. Several more samples of the area are then quickly acquired. When the physician has retrieved all the samples, the compression will be released from your breast. The nurse or technologist will apply pressure to the biopsy site for 5-10 minutes to prevent bleeding. Afterwards, a dressing will be applied and you will be sent home.

After Your Exam

The nurse will give you post procedure home care instructions prior to sending you home.

General Information

We want to make your waiting time as pleasant as possible. Although we do not anticipate a delay in your scheduled appointment, consider bringing your favorite magazine, book or music to help you pass the time should an unanticipated delay occur.

For your safety, please leave your jewelry and valuables at home. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please call (310) 423-9331, Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.