What is an Stereotactic Breast Biopsy?
If your last breast imaging test showed an abnormal area, your doctor may want to do a stereotactic biopsy. This is when the radiologists takes a small sample of an area to further test for breast cancer. The biopsy is typically done using Digital Mammography, but can be performed with Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (3D Mammography) as well if the patient chooses that option. This procedure is offered at CRL Women’s Imaging located inside of CRL Imaging Southdale in Edina, Minnesota.
Preparing for your breast biopsy
Before your breast biopsy, you may eat a light meal. You may choose to have a family member or friend come with you to this appointment (Note: Only clinical staff are allowed in the procedure room). It’s best to wear a comfortable two-piece outfit as you will be removing clothing from the waist up and be provided with a gown. We recommend that you bring a supportive bra to wear following the biopsy.
If you are taking an anticoagulant medication such as aspirin, Warfarin (Coumadin), Clopidogrel (Plavix), or any other medication that affects the clotting ability of your blood, it may be necessary to stop taking it prior to the biopsy. If you are taking any of these medications, please inform the prescribing doctor of your upcoming biopsy and they will determine if the medication should be stopped, and for how many days. If you are taking Warfarin (Coumadin), a blood test called an INR will need to be done at your doctors office the day of the breast biopsy. The result needs to be below 1.3. Please have your doctor’s office call in the INR result to our technologists at (952) 915-4327. On some occasions, the doctor will have their patients take a ‘bridging medication’ called Lovenox, when Warfarin has to be stopped and an INR test will still need to be completed.
What to expect during your breast biopsy
Prior to the procedure, a technologist will escort you to a dressing room to change into a gown. You will then be taken to the Mammography room where the biopsy is performed. The technologist will assist you into a cushioned chair, which will be adjusted to facilitate the biopsy process, and make you as comfortable as possible. Your breast will then be positioned and compressed similar to your mammogram. Images will be taken to visualize the area to be biopsied. The breast will then be cleansed with an antiseptic solution. The radiologist will then use a small needle to numb the area.
Once the area is numb, the radiologist will then make a tiny incision in the skin for the biopsy needle. Mammogram images will be taken again to verify correct positioning. An average of 5-10 tissue samples are removed. A tiny titanium or stainless steel marker will then be placed into the biopsy site.
After your biopsy procedure
You will be taken into the recovery room. If someone has accompanied you to the appointment, they may join you at this time. The technologist will assist you into a comfortable chair, and apply firm pressure for several minutes. A bandage will be applied to the biopsy site. A gentle Mammogram will be performed to confirm placement of the marker. Beverages and a light snack will be available at this time.
You may reapply a cold pack on your breast for 20-30 minutes at a time to relieve swelling, bruising, or discomfort within the first 48hrs. You may bathe or shower as usual the next day after the biopsy. A post biopsy instruction sheet will be provided for your care at home along with the phone numbers to reach staff during and after business hours.
When will I receive my biopsy results?
Biopsy results are available the following business day between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. If the biopsy is done on a Friday, the results will be available Monday afternoon. The radiologist, your doctor, or a CRL staff member will call you with the results and discuss further follow-up if necessary.
If you have any questions or concerns about your biopsy or breast health in general, Call CRL Women’s Imaging at (952) 915-4320 (M-F, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). If outside imaging center hours, call (952) 285-3750.
When to call CRL Women’s Imaging?
- If bleeding at the biopsy site does not stop after pressure is applied for 15 minutes.
- If you notice increased swelling, redness, pain or heat in the biopsy area, or if fever occurs.
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