Stereotactic Guided Core Biopsy and Vacuum Assisted Core Biopsy

A stereotactic breast biopsy is most helpful when mammography shows a mass, a cluster of microcalcifications, or an area of abnormal tissue change but no lump can be felt.

At ARYA STANA BONE & BREAST CARE, our breast radiologist uses computer-generated stereo x-rays (x-rays taken from multiple angles) to locate the area in question so that a sample can be obtained. The breast radiologist numbs the area of concern and the breast is compressed as in a mammogram. Once the special biopsy needle is inserted, additional x-rays are taken to ensure correct needle placement. Tissue samples are extracted with the needle and sent to pathology for analysis.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a breast biopsy?
A breast biopsy means removing breast tissue for examination under the microscope. It is the only definitive way to diagnose the nature of a breast mass/lump or calcification. Approximately 80% of breast biopsies are benign.

A biopsy may require surgery (excisional biopsy); however, most breast biopsies can be accurately performed by placing a specially designed needle into the suspicious area (stereotactic core needle biopsy).

ARYA STANA BONE & BREAST CARE uses state of the art equipment with the lowest possible radiation dose techniques.

How do you determine the right procedure for each patient?
If you need a breast biopsy, you will be advised by the breast radiologist on which method is the best for your individual condition. You, our breast radiologist, and your Doctor (if necessary) can together decide what is best for you.

What is a stereotactic breast biopsy?
A stereotactic biopsy may be recommended if an area of concern is better visualized on mammography. The breast radiologist uses this technique to take several small samples of an area in your breast tissue that needs further examination. A stereotactic biopsy is a reliable, minimally invasive method used if areas of concern were detected by a mammogram or ultrasound.

How is this procedure performed?
Stereotactic biopsies are performed on a stereotactic biopsy device. This equipment allows us to use computer and digital imaging to calculate the exact position of the area being targeted within the breast.  The biopsy is performed using local anesthesia.  You will remain awake during the procedure.  Once the precise position is located, small tissue samples are obtained with a specially designed needle. The tissue specimens are then sent to a specialized pathologist to be evaluated.

Do I need to do anything special before having this procedure?
Yes. You need to let us know about any over-the-counter or prescription medications that you are taking. If you take daily aspirin or use ibuprofen on a regular basis, we will ask you to discontinue using these medications prior to the procedure.  If you take the blood thinner warfarin, we will consult with your doctor about possibly discontinuing this medication. We will have you discontinue these drugs to prevent possible bleeding complications.

How is it different from a surgical biopsy?
A surgical biopsy is more invasive and typically requires general anesthesia, and a larger incision.

How long will this procedure take?
The biopsy itself will take only about 30 minutes. However, you should plan to be in our office for 60 to 90 minutes. This gives us time to administer the local anesthetic, perform the biopsy, and address any concerns. Only local anesthesia is used and most patients are able to return to their normal routine shortly afterward.

Will I have to modify my activities?
Other than common wound care instructions, your activities should not be impacted at all. Our staff will cover wound care with you. We do not recommend activities, like running, that put a stress on the breast until the incision has healed.  Most of our patients report minimal impact from the procedure.

Will I have a scar?
The incision being very small creates minimal if any cosmetic impact. Most women report that only they can find a slight scar after a few months.

When will I get my results?
Usually within a few days. We may schedule an appointment or call you for you to receive your results when your pathology reports are available.

Do you need anesthesia for a biopsy?
A local anesthetic is applied to numb the area.

Do I need a referral to have a breast biopsy?
If you have seen your Doctor prior to your appointment you may be  referred for a biopsy.

If you have any symptoms and concerns and make an appointment directly you do not need a referral.