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Needle Biopsy of the Breast

Exam Explanation

When an ultrasound examination reveals a suspicious breast abnormality, a physician may choose to perform an ultrasound-guided biopsy. Because ultrasound provides real-time images, it is often used to guide biopsy procedures. Ultrasound-guided biopsy of the breast is a minimally invasive alternative to an open biopsy which is performed in an operating room and requires general anesthesia.

Exam Preparation

There isn’t really anything you can do to prepare for a needle biopsy of the breast.

During the Exam

After you arrive for your appointment, you will be asked to remove your shirt and change into a gown. You may wish to wear a two-piece outfit that day. You will lie on your back or on your side on the examination table. The doctor will hold the ultrasound probe against your breast, and locate the mass within your breast. The radiologist will make a small incision to insert the needle and take several samples of tissue to be sent to a lab for analysis. In most cases, the procedure takes less than an hour, and women can immediately return to their daily activity.