Breast Biopsy

Mammography has been proven to be the best tool in detecting breast cancer early by detecting the tumor before it has a chance to spread.  It also sometimes detects areas in the breast that may look suspicious but are not cancer.  Sometimes it can be impossible to differentiate these from cancer without further investigation. This investigation can include additional mammogram views and breast ultrasound, and breast biopsy.  Although statistically 80% of breast biopsies turn out to be non-cancerous, biopsy is often a necessary tool for diagnosis.

In the past, all biopsies for mammogram abnormalities were performed as invasive surgical procedures. Today, patients have the option of Minimally Invasive Breast Biopsy using a tiny 5mm (1/4 inch) incision, without the need for costly and painful open surgery.  It is the least invasive way to obtain the tissue sample needed to make a conclusive diagnosis about the abnormality.   The tissue will then be examined by a pathologist to determine if cancer is present.  A tiny marker clip may also be placed at the time of the biopsy to mark the site of the biopsy.  This procedure not only spares most women the discomfort and scarring associated with a surgical breast biopsy, but it also minimizes the recovery time, and the cost to the patient.

Minimally invasive breast biopsies can be performed by our experienced Radiologists and staff at the Sutter Buttes Imaging Center, in a comfortable outpatient setting using Mammographic (Stereotactic) or Ultrasound Guidance.

Stereotactic Breast Biopsy:

Stereotactic biopsy is a minimally invasive diagnostic tool used when a mammogram detects an abnormal condition in a woman’s breast.  The needle is guided precisely to the abnormality using digital mammography (a mammogram obtained with computer techniques). The needle placement is confirmed to be in accurate position by the images, assuring the highest accuracy possible.  The tissue in question is removed through a needle attached to a vacuum device, allowing the abnormal area to be sampled without disturbing the normal surrounding tissue.  At Sutter Buttes Imaging, we utilize a prone table for the patient to lie on, which most women find more comfortable than biopsies performed in a standing position.

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Ultrasound Guided Breast Biopsy:

Ultrasound imaging can be used to help guide the radiologist needle or device to the precise site of the abnormal growth. Ultrasound guidance is utilized in conjunction with either a core needle or a vacuum-assisted device (VAD).

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