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Image-Guided Biopsy

Biopses, Breast MRI and other Breast Care Programs

Image-Guided Biopsy

Biopses, Breast MRI and other Breast Care Programs

What is an Image-Guided Biopsy?

An image-guided biopsy allows the radiologist to sample the tissue in your breast without surgery. Mammographic or ultrasound guidance is used to find the area. The radiologist will remove samples of breast tissue using a special needle. These tissue samples are sent to the pathologist for diagnosis. The pathology report is sent to the radiologist who performed the procedure and three working days after your biopsy the radiologist will review the results with you.

Biopsy Procedures

Stereotactic Biopsy

You will lie on your stomach on a padded table. Your breast will go through an opening in the table. The radiologist will perform the biopsy from below. It is important that you lie very still during the procedure. Your breast will be compressed just as it was for your mammogram. Mammogram images will be obtained, and a computer will be used to locate the biopsy area.

Ultrasound Guided Biopsy

You will lie on your back on a padded table with one arm raised above your head. You will be able to watch the ultrasound screen as the radiologist performs the procedure if you wish.

Biopsy Notes

What to do
Prior to Your Biopsy

There are no diet restrictions; eat and drink as usual. Take your usual medications on the day of your appointment. If you take daily arthritis medications, aspirin or any anticoagulant such as Coumadin, Heparin, Lovenox, NSAIDS, Plavix or Warfarin, please notify our staff. There may be special instructions for you.

What to Expect
During the Procedure

Your skin will be cleaned before the radiologist administers lidocaine, a local anesthetic. This will numb an area about the size of a quarter. A very small incision will be made and several tissue samples will be obtained. During the procedure you will be informed about what is occurring. If you experience discomfort, the radiologist can administer more local anesthetic during the procedure.

What Happens
After the Procedure

The radiologist or technologist will apply pressure to the biopsy area for several minutes to stop any bleeding. Your incision will be closed with a steri strip and a sterile dressing. You will be given a small ice pack to put in your bra for a few hours to help prevent bruising.

The day following your biopsy our Nurse Navigator Christina Hunter, RN will follow up with you if you should have any questions or concerns.

If you have questions after 5:00 pm, during the weekend, or on a holiday, please call
856-757-3515 or 3523 and ask for the Radiologist on call.

Caring for Your Biopsy Site

  • Keep your biopsy site covered with a bandage for today.
  • Leave the small strips of paper tape (Steri-Strips®) on your biopsy site. If they have not fallen off in 3 days, remove them.
  • You may shower 24 hours after your biopsy. Clean your biopsy site with soap and water, letting the shower water run over your biopsy site. Gently pat it dry with a clean towel. You don’t need to put another bandage on your biopsy site after you shower. However, if there is any drainage from your biopsy site, place a clean Band-Aid® over it.
  • Swelling and bruising are common after a breast biopsy. Applying an ice pack may help. Any bruises and swelling should go away on their own in about a week.
  • If you have any bleeding from your biopsy site, apply steady pressure. If the bleeding becomes heavy or doesn’t stop, call your doctor.
  • Wearing a tight-fitting bra after your biopsy will support your biopsy site, which might make you more comfortable.


  • If you have pain after your biopsy, take acetaminophen (Tylenol®) as directed. Try to avoid taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain such as Aleve, Motrin, Advil.
  • If you take medications to thin your blood talk with your doctor about when to resume your normal medication routine. Avoid aspirin for about 48 hours

Additional Instructions

  • For 3 days after your biopsy, do not:
    • Lift anything heavier than 5 pounds with the arm on the biopsy side.
    • Do any strenuous exercises, such as running or jogging.
    • Bathe, swim, or soak the biopsy site under water.
  • Your radiologist will give you a card with his or her phone number. Call your radiologist if:
    • Your breast is getting larger.
    • You have increased breast tenderness.
    • You have bleeding that you are worried about.
    • If you develop a fever > 101
    • You have any questions.
  • You should receive your biopsy results within 3 to 5 business days of your procedure.
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