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Breast Biopsy

If your radiologist notices something unusual on your mammogram, you may need a biopsy to ensure it is not cancer. Stereotactic breast biopsies at Tri-County Health Care give you a minimally invasive option that requires less recovery time and results in minimal scarring.

A minimally invasive option

A stereotactic (minimally invasive) breast biopsy is a procedure that uses mammography to precisely identify and biopsy an abnormality within the breast. It is normally done when the radiologist sees a suspicious abnormality on your mammogram that can’t be felt in a physical exam. This procedure will help determine whether or not you have breast cancer or any other concerning abnormalities in your breast.

Stereotactic breast biopsies use 3-D mammography as a guide to locate and target the area of concern and to help guide the biopsy needle to a precise location. This technique helps ensure that the area that is biopsied is the exact area where the abnormality was seen on the mammogram. After the sample is collected, it is sent to a lab for testing.

Why is a stereotactic breast biopsy performed?
A breast biopsy is typically done to investigate irregularities (such as a lump) in the breast. A breast lump may be frightening. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, breast lumps are often benign (non-cancerous). A breast biopsy is typically done if your provider becomes concerned following a mammogram or breast ultrasound. Your provider may also order these tests if a lump was discovered during a physical exam.

What are the benefits of a stereotactic breast biopsy?
Quite simply, a stereotactic breast biopsy is less invasive than a surgical biopsy, requires less recovery time, and causes minimal scaring.

Are there risks with a stereotactic breast biopsy?
If you are pregnant or concerned you may be pregnant, radiation from the X-rays may be harmful to your unborn child. Be sure to tell your provider so alternative biopsy methods can be considered. Complications from a biopsy are rare. The risks associated with the procedure are outweighed by the benefits of identifying potentially cancerous areas. Remember, the quicker breast cancer is detected, the faster your treatment can begin.

How should I prepare for a stereotactic breast biopsy?
Before your breast biopsy, tell your provider about any allergies you have, especially any history of allergic reactions to anesthesia. Also be sure to mention any medications you may be taking, including over-the-counter drugs such as aspirin or supplements. You’ll be asked to change into a hospital gown. You should avoid using moisturizer on your breasts. Remove all jewelry and any body piercings before the biopsy.

What happens after a stereotactic breast biopsy?
You can go home after your stereotactic breast biopsy. The samples of your tissue will be sent to a lab. You will be given instructions on how to care for the biopsy site at home. This includes keeping it clean and changing the bandages to prevent infection. You should contact your provider if you develop a fever higher than 100 degrees or experience redness, warmth, or discharge from the site. These are all signs of infection.


Toll-Free: 800-631-1811
Phone: 218-631-3510