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The stereotactic breast biopsy procedure is one of the newest and least invasive techniques available to obtain biopsies for diagnosing breast abnormalities revealed by a mammogram.  As a result of this procedure, a diagnosis can usually be made without surgery.

These breast biopsies are performed using stereotactic equipment, which utilizes a  computer to locate the area(s) to be biopsied.  Your surgeon/radiologist, assisted by an X-ray technologist, guides a probe to the lesion to collect several samples of breast tissue.  The stereotactic method provides sufficient tissue for a diagnosis and studies find it to be just as reliable as surgery. 

About The Procedure

The actual procedure takes approximately 30 minutes.  You will lie face down on a cushioned table.  Your breast will be positioned through an opening and compressed by a device similar to that used for mammograms, but not as tight.

An x-ray will be made of your breast to enable the computer to calculate the exact  location of the lesion and precisely position the probe.  A local anesthetic is administered to numb the area for a tiny incision where the small probe enters. Once the probe is positioned, it is very important that you do not move.   You may feel a little discomfort as the tissue samples are taken.

Preparing For The Procedure

Please wear two-piece clothing to High Point Surgery Center (slacks are best).  You will be asked to remove your clothes from the waist up and put on a gown.  Wear a firm fitting bra, which you will also wear after your procedure.  Necklaces and large earrings should not be worn. Eat a light breakfast and/or lunch and take your usual medications on the day of your procedure.  Please review the stereotactic breast biopsy checklist several days before, as well as the day prior to, your procedure.

After The Procedure

After the breast biopsy is completed, firm pressure is applied for several minutes, then an ice pack is placed over the site.  Stitches are not necessary.  A firm fitting, supportive bra should be worn continuously for 48 hours and then for several additional days, except when sleeping.  Mild soreness and bruising are expected for a few days.  Over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen (for example, Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol), should relieve any discomfort.  The tiny incision will heal in a few days, leaving at most, a very small scar.

Activity Restrictions

Avoid heavy lifting, overhead reaching and other strenuous activity such as exercise or jogging for the first 24 hours after your biopsy.

Discharge Arrangements

High Point Surgery Center requires that a responsible adult (age 18 or older) drives you home.

Biopsy Results and Follow-Up

Your biopsy results will be sent to your physician 4-5 days after the procedure.  Your physician will contact you about the results and discuss further treatment, if necessary.

It is extremely important that a follow-up mammogram be performed three to six months after your stereotactic biopsy, as directed by your physician.

Financial Arrangements

Call High Point Surgery Center (336-878-6068) and ask to be transferred to the business office to discuss insurance coverage and financial arrangements.  If a representative is not immediately available, please leave your name and daytime phone number for a return call.  Your procedure may be postponed if financial arrangements are not made.

You will receive separate bills from the surgeon/radiologist who performs the procedure, the pathologist who evaluates the tissue and High Point Surgery Center for your care.

If You Have Questions

High Point Surgery Center wants you to have all the information you need about your stereotactic breast biopsy procedure.   If you have questions regarding your procedure, please contact the office of your surgeon/radiologist.    You will also call them by 5:00 p.m. on the workday (Monday-Friday) before your procedure to obtain your procedure time.  For all other questions, contact High Point Surgery Center (336-878-6068).

Stereotactic Breast Biopsy Patient Assessment
Stereotactic Breast Biopsy Checklist (print friendly)