Breast Biopsy

Two women smiling

Vantage Radiology & Diagnostic Services offers the following breast biopsies:

  • MRI Breast Biopsy
  • Stereotactic/Tomosynthesis Core Needle Biopsy
  • Ultrasound-Guided Core Needle Biopsy

 

MRI Breast Biopsy

MRI Breast Biopsy is used to determine whether a mass in the breast is noncancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant). A breast biopsy involves removing tissue/cells from the suspicious area and examining them under a microscope in order to determine a diagnosis. The MRI helps guide the needle to the suspicious area. This procedure takes less than an hour, only requires a local anesthetic, and leaves little or no scarring.

Vantage Radiology offers routine breast MRI, vacuum-assisted breast MRI biopsy, and wire localization for pre-surgery breast patients at of our imaging facilities in Renton and Bellevue.

MRI biopsies are performed with the help from special computer software. The radiologist measures the position of the lesion with respect to the grid surrounding the breast and calculates the position and depth of the needle placement. After numbing the breast with local anesthetic and placing the needle, MRI imaging is performed to verify its position. Then the tissue samples are obtained.

When the tissue sampling is complete, a marker clip will be placed to ensure that the site can be easily located if future surgery is needed. The entire procedure takes 45 minutes to one hour. Most patients are able to resume their usual activities the same day. Specific instructions are given to patients after the procedure.

Following the breast biopsy, a pathologist will examine the tissue specimens. The results of the specimens are available to the referring physician within a few days.


Preparation for Your Exam

Under most circumstances, no special diet, medication, or fasting is required before your MRI examination. You will be asked to change into an examination gown. You will also be asked to leave any jewelry, keys, and other metallic items such as credit cards in a locked safe. Credit cards have a metallic strip that can be erased by the magnet, and shouldn’t be exposed to the exam room. You will be given the opportunity to use the bathroom so you will be as comfortable as possible for the duration of your exam.


What to Expect During the Exam

You will be asked to relax and remain as still as possible. Breast MRI requires that you lie on your stomach for roughly 30 minutes, with both breasts surrounded by a receiver device, known as the breast coil. Women generally find the examination table comfortable. The scanner makes a series of thumping sounds made by the radio wave transmitters, which are normal, and in no way harmful.

You will be continuously observed by specially trained staff throughout the examination. The staff will communicate with you through an intercom system.

The appointment usually takes 45 minutes. There are no restrictions after the exam, and you can return to your normal daily routine immediately.


A Very Important Note

You may not be able to undergo MRI if you have a pacemaker, inner ear implants, certain surgical clips or stents, or some other metal implants. Please notify any member of our staff or a physician if you are unsure whether you have any of the above.

Please make child care arrangements or bring a family member to watch children during your MRI. Children may not be left unattended in the lobby.

Breast MRI is a very specialized imaging exam. Only select radiologists have undergone extensive training and education to read Breast MRI studies. The radiologists use very complex CAD software to aid in the image interpretation process. Your physician receives very detailed images and graphs, along with a written report of your Breast MRI after your exam.

Stereotactic/Tomosynthesis Core Needle Biopsy

This procedure is a minimally invasive biopsy procedure performed on a suspicious finding in the breast that has been identified during a previous mammogram. The patient lies face down on a biopsy table with the breast hanging through an opening in the table. The breast is compressed with a paddle and cleansed with antiseptic. Local anesthetic is utilized to numb the breast. X-ray images of the breast are obtained at different angles, and the location of the lesion of concern within the breast is calculated using a computer. A core biopsy needle is then introduced into the breast. Multiple core biopsy samples are obtained with vacuum-assistance from the area of concern. These samples are then sent to the pathology lab for evaluation. Activities may be limited for several days until the area heals.

Following the procedure, a dressing is placed over the biopsy site. The patient is advised to avoid heavy lifting and other forms of strenuous activity for two days. The patient is also advised to wear a supportive bra 24 hours per day for two days following the procedure.

The patient may experience mild discomfort following the procedure. This discomfort is usually controlled by taking acetaminophen and applying ice packs to the breast. It is normal to have bruising on the breast following the procedure. Occasionally, a hematoma (i.e. blood collection) may form in the breast following the procedure, and may cause a palpable, painful lump. This complication occurs from the rupture of a small blood vessel in the breast during the procedure. If a hematoma occurs, please inform the radiologist that performed the procedure, or your referring physician.


Preparation

Wear comfortable clothes and a supportive bra. Aspirin, other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications, and Plavix should be discontinued for five days prior to the procedure. If you are on Coumadin (warfarin), please speak with your referring physician about stopping this medication prior to the procedure. Usually, Coumadin (warfarin) is discontinued for three days prior to the procedure. Your INR will have to be checked on the day of the procedure to ensure that it is at an appropriate level (1.5 or lower), to help avoid excessive bleeding. Other medications that you are on can be taken as prescribed.

Ultrasound-Guided Core Needle Biopsy

This procedure is a minimally invasive biopsy procedure performed on a suspicious finding in the breast identified through sonography. This procedure is performed with the patient lying on her back on a bed. The breast is cleansed with antiseptic. Local anesthetic is utilized to numb the breast. Under ultrasound-guidance, a core biopsy needle is introduced into the area of concern in the breast. Multiple core biopsy samples are obtained from the area of concern. The samples are then sent to the pathology lab for evaluation.

Following the procedure, a dressing is placed over the biopsy site. The patient is advised to avoid heavy lifting and other forms of strenuous activity for 2 days following the procedure. Mild discomfort may be experienced following the procedure. This discomfort is usually controlled by taking acetaminophen and applying ice packs to the breast. It is normal to have bruising on the breast following the procedure. Occasionally, a hematoma (i.e. blood collection) may form in the breast following the procedure, and may cause a palpable, painful lump. This complication occurs from the rupture of a small blood vessel in the breast during the procedure. If a hematoma occurs, please inform the radiologist that performed the procedure, or your referring physician.


Preparation

Wear comfortable clothes and a supportive bra. Aspirin, other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications, and Plavix should be discontinued for five days prior to the procedure. If you are on Coumadin (warfarin), please speak with your referring physician about stopping this medication prior to the procedure. Usually, Coumadin (warfarin) is discontinued for three days prior to the procedure. Your INR will have to be checked on the day of the procedure to ensure that it is at an appropriate level (1.5 or lower), to help avoid excessive bleeding. Other medications that you are on can be taken as prescribed.