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Ultrasound-guided Biopsy

If an area of concern on mammogram cannot be felt or is very small, an ultrasound-guided biopsy may be recommended for you. Sometimes an ultrasound-guided biopsy is recommended for a larger mass to obtain the best sampling. The biopsy is performed by a radiologist or a surgeon.  The procedure is an outpatient procedure and takes about 30 minutes.  You may eat and drink normally prior to the procedure.  Most patients return to their normal activities afterwards.

You will be comfortably lying on your back.  A gel will be applied to the skin of the breast over the area of concern and a transducer (a small handheld instrument) is passed over the breast to obtain images of the area.  Once the ultrasound locates the area of concern, the area is cleansed and injected with a local anesthetic.  The doctor then makes a small nick in the skin and inserts a needle into the area.  This is done several times to make sure to obtain an appropriate sample of tissue. The biopsy device used sometimes makes a clicking sound. The last pass of the needle device places a very small stainless steel clip to mark the area of biopsy.

After the biopsy is completed, a small bandage/band-aid will be placed over the biopsy site and you will be given a small ice pack and post-procedure instructions. 

The biopsy sample will be sent to the pathology lab for evaluation.  The pathologist will send the referring physician a full report and your physician will be in contact with you so that you can be informed as quickly as possible regarding your results.

Infection is rare with an ultrasound biopsy; however, there is a small possibility a hematoma (bruise - a collection of blood under the skin) may occur.  It is very important that you stop taking any ibuprofen, aspirin containing products or blood thinners for 4-7 days prior to your biopsy.

If you have any questions regarding your procedure, please feel free to call our Nurse Navigator, Linda Walton @ 443-436-1046.


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