Stereotactic Breast Biopsy

Sterotactic breast biopsy is a non-surgical method of removing tissue from a suspected abnormality in your breast. It is most often done on an outpatient basis. Your doctor may recommend this procedure if a mammogram shows a suspicious mass or calcification in your breast.

About the Procedure

A sterotactic breast biopsy is quicker and less uncomfortable than a traditional surgical biopsy. It minimizes scarring, has fewer side effects and the recovery period is minimal.

After removing your clothing from the waist up, you'll lie down with your breast suspended through an opening in the table. The table is then elevated and your breast is compressed similar to a mammogram. The biopsy site will be marked with a felt-tip pen before your breast is cleaned with a sterile solution and given a local anesthetic. A small incision is made and the biopsy instrument is inserted. Images will be taken throughout the process. The procedure usually takes less than one hour. The biopsy sample will be sent to a pathologist for interpretation.

How to Prepare

To prepare for a stereotactic breast biopsy, discontinue any medications, which might slow blood clotting, such as aspirin and some other anti-inflammatory medications for one week prior to your appointment. However, don't stop taking prescription medication without first talking to your doctor. Wear comfortable clothing. You may eat a light breakfast.

After the procedure a nurse will cover the incision site with a small bandage and apply pressure to make sure any bleeding has stopped. You may go home immediately following the procedure. At home, you may apply ice or take acetaminophen for breast bruising or discomfort, which may continue for several days. But avoid aspirin or other medications (such as ibuprofen and naproxen), which might slow blood clotting. Avoid strenuous activity for 24 hours after the biopsy. Call your doctor if you have any marked discomfort or significant bleeding after the biopsy.