The Holloway Breast Health Center at Paoli Hospital offers stereotactic
breast biopsy, a minimally invasive, nonsurgical, outpatient procedure
used to determine whether an abnormality detected through mammography is
cancerous. Computerized three-dimensional images, created from
mammograms, allow surgeons and radiologists to perform the breast biopsy
quickly and with minimal discomfort. In appropriate cases, the biopsy is
as accurate as traditional surgical biopsy, but it reduces the amount of
tissue removed for diagnosis and minimizes scarring.
What is stereotactic breast biopsy?
Occasionally an abnormality is detected through mammography when no lump
is present during physical examination. This type of test is a method of
acquiring a sample of breast tissue. A special computer is used to
direct a needle to the area of suspicion, allowing for an accurate
tissue sample to be extracted.
What happens during the procedure?
You will be asked to wear a hospital gown open to the front. The first
part of the procedure may seem much like a routine mammogram, but
instead you will be asked to lie on your stomach with your breast
suspended through an opening in the biopsy table. At this point,
mammography X-rays and plates will be used as a map to determine the
exact location of the area in question. A small needle will be used to
inject some numbing medicine under the skin of your breast. Then, a
needle will be inserted into the area that needs to be tested and a
sample of tissue will be removed. The sampling takes only 15–20 minutes
once the needle is inserted, and the whole procedure takes about 1 to 1
What should I expect after the procedure?
You may experience some brief discomfort, and sometimes a small amount
of bleeding or bruising can occur. You may feel soreness at the breast
site for a day or so following the procedure. Generally,
over-the-counter pain relief is all that is necessary. You will be given
post-procedure instructions when you leave the hospital. Most women feel
fine, however, it is a good idea to go home, relax and avoid any
strenuous activity for 24 hours.
How should I prepare for the procedure?
We recommend that patients refrain from taking any aspirin products for
seven days prior to the procedure to reduce the risk of bleeding. In
addition, any ibuprofren products (Advil or Motrin) should not be taken
two days prior to the test.
If you are prescribed any nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications,
Coumadin, Heparin, or any other blood thinning medications, or if you
have ever had an allergic reaction to any local anesthetics, for
example, Novocaine or Lidocaine, please consult your doctor before this
When will I get my results?
The surgeon at the Holloway Breast Health Center will receive your
results approximately 48 hours after the procedure is completed. They
will contact you by phone to notify you of the results.
How do I schedule the procedure?
If your surgeon has recommended a stereotactic biopsy, please call 484.565.1414
to schedule the test.
Whom can I call if I have more questions?
Our breast care nurse navigator
is available to discuss this procedure with you further and answer any
questions you may have. You can reach her at 484.565.1461.
Holloway Breast Health Center
New Appointments 1.866.CALL.MLH or 484.580.1000
255 West Lancaster Avenue
Paoli, PA 19301
For more information, call 1.866.CALL.MLH.