This service is available at the Pointe West location.
- Pointe West
What is a Breast Biopsy?
Lumps or abnormalities in the breast are often detected by a physical examination, mammogram or other imaging test. However, it is not always possible to tell from these imaging tests whether a growth is benign or cancerous. A breast biopsy is performed to remove and examine cells from a suspicious area to make a diagnosis.
Image-guided biopsy is performed when the abnormal area in the breast is too small to be felt, making it difficult to locate the lesion by hand (called a palpation). An image-guided needle biopsy is not designed to remove the entire lesion, but most of a very small lesion may be removed in the process.
In ultrasound-guided breast biopsy, ultrasound imaging is used to help guide the radiologist’s instruments to the site of the abnormal growth.
Manatee Diagnostic Center offers the latest breast biopsy technology with our state-of-the-art Stereotactic Breast Biopsy System. Requiring only a tiny incision, this simple outpatient procedure minimizes discomfort and allows patients to immediately resume most normal activities.
Magnetic resonance—or MR-guided breast biopsy—uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to help locate a breast lump or abnormality and guide a needle to remove a tissue sample for examination under a microscope. It does not use ionizing radiation and leaves little to no scarring.
What is MR-Guided Breast Biopsy?
Lumps or abnormalities in the breast are often detected by physical examination, mammography, or other imaging studies. However, it is not always possible to tell from these imaging tests whether a growth is benign or cancerous.
A breast biopsy is performed to remove some cells from a suspicious area in the breast and examine them under a microscope to determine a diagnosis. This can be performed surgically or, more commonly, by a radiologist using a less invasive procedure that involves a hollow needle and image-guidance. Image-guided needle biopsy is not designed to remove the entire lesion but to obtain a small sample of the abnormality for further analysis.
Image-guided biopsy is performed by taking samples of an abnormality under some form of guidance such as ultrasound, MRI or mammography.
In MRI-guided breast biopsy, magnetic resonance imaging is used to help guide the radiologist’s instruments to the site of the abnormal growth. More information can be found on RadiologyInfo.org.
What are Some Common Uses of the Procedure?
An ultrasound-guided breast biopsy can be performed when a breast ultrasound shows an abnormality such as:
- A suspicious solid mass
- A distortion in the structure of the breast tissue
- An area of abnormal tissue change
There are times when your doctor may decide that ultrasound guidance for biopsy is appropriate even for a mass that can be felt.
Manatee Diagnostic Center uses two biopsy procedures:
- Core needle, which uses a large hollow needle to remove one sample of breast tissue per insertion.
- Vacuum-assisted device, which uses a vacuum-powered instrument to collect multiple tissue samples during one needle insertion.
How Does the Procedure Work?
Using an ultrasound probe to visualize the location of the breast lump, the radiologist inserts a biopsy needle through the skin, advances it into the mass and removes tissue samples. If a surgical biopsy is being performed, ultrasound may be used to guide a wire directly into the mass to help the surgeon locate the area for excision. With continuous ultrasound imaging, the physician is able to view the biopsy needle or wire in real time as it advances to the location of the lesion.