The patient is made to lie down for the fine needle biopsy of the breast.
The patient is made to lie down for the fine needle biopsy of the breast.

The patient is made to lie down for the fine needle biopsy of the breast. The physician may numb the breast using local anesthesia, such as Lidocaine. Next, the physician uses a thin, hollow needle to withdraw the tissues or fluid from the suspicious area under image guidance (mammogram and computer-generated images).

The physician passes the needle through the lesion several times to get sufficient tissue for examination. Once the biopsy is done, the physician applies pressure to stop any bleeding and covers the opening with a bandage or sterile dressing. The insertion of the needle takes about 15 seconds, although the entire procedure with ultrasound takes around 20 to 30 minutes. The physician chooses stereotactic fine needle biopsy when a cystic lesion is diagnosed in an ultrasound.

What is stereotactic needle biopsy?

Stereotactic needle biopsy is a well-tolerated, widely available medical procedure that involves the extraction of breast tissues using a needle to examine any abnormalities. It is a special mammography machine that uses x-rays to guide the physician to detect any abnormality. Stereotactic needle biopsy is less invasive than surgical biopsy and leaves little to no scarring. They are also an excellent way to analyze calcium deposits or tiny masses, which are not detected in ultrasound.

When is stereotactic needle biopsy indicated?

A stereotactic breast biopsy is indicated, when the mammogram shows a breast abnormality, such as:

  • A suspicious mass
  • Microcalcifications (a tiny cluster of small calcium deposits)
  • Distortion in the structure of the breast tissue
  • An area of abnormal tissue change
  • A new mass or area of calcium deposits in the previous surgical site

When should be the stereotactic breast biopsy avoided?

Stereotactic biopsy should be avoided in the following conditions:

  • The lesion is located near the chest wall or directly behind the nipple
  • Mammogram shows only a vague abnormality
  • Extremely thin breasts
  • Diffused calcium deposits spread throughout the breast

What are the different types of a stereotactic needle biopsy?

The different types of stereotactic needle biopsy include:

  • Core-needle biopsy: A small cylinder (core) needle is used instead of fine needles to extract a core tissue.
  • Wild-bore needle biopsy: The needle is attached to a spring-loaded tool to pass quickly through the lesions.
  • Vacuum-assisted core biopsy: The needle is positioned using an ultrasonographic, and this is mainly useful in the extraction of lesions less than 15 mm or for removing additional tissue.

What to expect after a stereotactic breast biopsy?

You may experience some discomfort after the procedure. You should avoid strenuous activity for at least 24 hours after the biopsy. You may experience swelling or bruising following your biopsy for which the physician may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers or cold packs. Contact the physician, if you observe any of these symptoms:

  • Excessive swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Drainage
  • Redness
  • Warmth in breast

What are the complications of a stereotactic breast biopsy?

The complications of stereotactic breast biopsy include:

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Medically Reviewed on 10/15/2020
References
https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1845123-overview#a7

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/screening-tests-and-early-detection/breast-biopsy/fine-needle-aspiration-biopsy-of-the-breast.html

https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=breastbixr#:~:text=Stereotactic%20mammography%20pinpoints%20the%20exact,lesion%20and%20removes%20tissue%20samples.

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