Ultrasound-Guided Breast Biopsy

Ultrasound-Guided Breast Biopsy is often the simplest, minimally invasive technique used to gather tissue samples from a breast abnormality discovered during a diagnostic mammogram and/or breast ultrasound. Sometimes these abnormalities turn out not to be a problem. If there is a potential problem, early detection is essential and increases treatment options and the likelihood of successful recovery.

Your Ultrasound-Guided Breast Biopsy

For your Ultrasound-Guided Breast Biopsy appointment, you should plan on being in the center for a couple of hours, which will include all pre- and post-procedure care. The procedure itself will take about 15 minutes. During this time you will be lying still on your back or side.

An ultrasound technologist will make sure that you are comfortable, and then apply a gel that is used to help improve the contact between the hand-held ultrasound transducer and your skin. The gel may feel a little cold. The technologist will obtain images by gently pressing and rolling the tranducer over areas of your breast or underarms.

Once the abnormality is located, the area will be cleaned. A radiologist will inject local anesthetic into your skin and deeper tissues to numb the area. A very small skin incision - approximately 1/4 inch - will be made. Most patients experience some minor discomfort during this procedure. Some experience no discomfort at all.

The radiologist will then use imaging techniques to locate the abnormality and extract several tissue samples to be sent to and interpreted by a pathologist. After the tissue is removed, a small metallic marker will be placed in your breast.

This marker is a reference point for future imaging, and confirms that the area of concern has been biopsied. Following your procedure, a mammogram will be performed to document the position of the marker.

How to Prepare for Your Procedure

When you schedule your procedure, we will review your health history and any medications you are currently taking. On the day of your procedure, you may eat and drink normally.

Please wear a comfortable, loose fitting two-piece outfit, as you will be asked to remove your top prior to the procedure. Please refrain from wearing any powder, perfume, deoderant and/or lotion on your underarms and breasts prior to the procedure.

What to Expect After Your Procedure

Following your Ultrasound-Guided Breast Biopsy, you will need to wear a supportive bra and keep the dressing that covers your incision clean and dry for the first 24-48 hours. You should ice the biopsy site following the procedure. Detailed self-care instructions will be provided to you immediately following your biopsy.

Avoid any strenuous activity for 48 hours following your procedure, especially activities that involve repetitive movement of the chest and arms, such as lifting, vaccuming, swimming and exercising.

Additional Resources: www.radiologyinfo.org