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Stereotactic Breast Biopsies

CVMC offers stereotactic breast biopsies, a procedure performed to remove some cells from a suspicious area in the breast and examine them under a microscope to determine a diagnosis. In stereotactic breast biopsy, a special mammography machine uses ionizing radiation to help guide the radiologist's instruments to the site of the abnormal growth.

A stereotactic breast biopsy is performed when a mammogram shows a breast abnormality such as:

  • a suspicious solid mass
  • microcalcifications, a tiny cluster of small calcium deposits
  • a distortion in the structure of the breast tissue
  • an area of abnormal tissue change
  • a new mass or area of calcium deposits is present at a previous surgery site.
  • Stereotactic breast biopsy is also performed when the patient or physician strongly prefers a non-surgical method of assessing a breast abnormality.

What to do to prepare for your biopsy:

You may be asked to remove some or all of your clothes and to wear a gown during the exam. You may also be asked to remove jewelry, eye glasses and any metal objects or clothing that might interfere with the x-ray images.

Women should always inform their physician if there is any possibility that they are pregnant. Some procedures using image-guidance are typically not performed during pregnancy because radiation can be harmful to the fetus.

You should not wear deodorant, powder, lotion or perfume under your arms or on your breasts on the day of the exam.

Prior to a needle biopsy, you should report to your doctor all medications that you are taking, including herbal supplements, and if you have any allergies, especially to anesthesia. Your physician will advise you to stop taking aspirin or a blood thinner three days before your procedure.

Also, inform your doctor about recent illnesses or other medical conditions.

You may want to have a relative or friend accompany you and drive you home afterward. This is recommended if you have been sedated.