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Diagnostic Imaging

Diagnostic Imaging

Central Scheduling Phone: 603-663-2180


Stereotactic Breast Biopsy

The Breast Diagnostic Center at the Elliot Hospital is pleased to offer stereotactic breast biopsy to our patients. Stereotactic breast biopsy can be an alternative to surgical biopsy. Obtaining tissue samples in this way leaves no significant scarring to the breast. Our Stereotactic program is fully accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR).

Why do I need a stereotactic biopsy?
When a small abnormality is seen on your mammogram, but cannot be felt by your physician, a stereotactic biopsy can be performed to localize and sample the questionable area. In this way, an accurate diagnosis may be obtained. Palpable lumps may also be biopsied by this method.

How do I prepare for the procedure?
You may have a light breakfast the morning of the biopsy. Dress comfortably, preferably in a two-piece outfit. You will be asked to change from the waist up and put on a hospital gown. You will then be asked to climb on to the stereotactic biopsy table, which is a step up, so pants or shorts are ideal.

How is the biopsy performed?
The procedure is performed in the Breast Diagnostic Center. There will be someone with you during the entire procedure. A certified mammography technologist trained in stereotactic breast biopsy will assist you and the radiologist during the procedure.

You will be on the exam table, resting comfortably on your stomach. Your breast is then positioned through an opening in the table, and compressed, somewhat like it is for a mammogram. Stereo (two) images are then taken to localize the area of interest. A computer is used to determine the exact area to biopsy.

Next, a radiologist will numb the site with a local anesthetic. He will then make a small nick in the skin, and the needle is inserted. More images are then taken to be sure that it is correctly positioned, and samples are taken.

After the sampling, additional films are taken to be certain the radiologist has obtained all of the tissue needed. Often, a small metal clip may be left in place as a marker. This would be helpful in the event that further surgery is required.

When the procedure is completed, the technologist will apply pressure to the biopsy site for five to ten minutes and then cover it with a small dressing. If a clip is placed, two mammography films will be taken after the procedure is completed.

Is the procedure painful?
The only painful sensation you may experience could be when the radiologist injects the local anesthetic or numbing medicine. You may feel a burning sensation during the injection. The local anesthetic will numb the biopsy site.

What are the chances I could have cancer?
Most biopsies – 60-80 percent- are proven to be benign. Having this procedure done can reassure you with a negative finding or make a diagnosis of cancer at an early stage, when it is most treatable.

How long will the procedure take?
In most cases, the biopsy can be performed in one hour or less. Sometimes, the area of concern is difficult to image because of the location of the biopsy site or breast size, so more time is needed.

How soon can I return to normal activity?
We recommend that strenuous activity be avoided for 24 hours.

When can I expect results from my biopsy?
Expect results within two working days after your stereotactic biopsy. The doctor ordering your exam will get the results.

Contact Information?

If you have any questions regarding this procedure please call:
Elliot Hospital
Breast Diagnostic Center
One Elliot Way
Manchester, NH 03103-3599
(603) 663-4490