Stereotactic Breast Biopsies

J.C. Blair's Women's Imaging Center offers Stereotactic Breast Biopsies for an easier and more accurate diagnosis of breast disease. This new procedure is a less invasive option than a standard needle localization than excisional biopsy which requires a trip to the operating room. J.C. Blair's certified mammography technologists and radiologists completed specialized training, and the Hospital invested in the state-of-the-art Suros ATEC Breast Biopsy System with the Affirm Upright Stereotactic attachment from Hologic, Inc.

Stereotactic Breast Biopsy at J.C. Blair is a first step when an abnormality that cannot be felt by the patient or healthcare provider is identified on a mammogram. A stereotactic breast biopsy is a target biopsy that removes tissue from a specific area of abnormaility in the breast. In this procedure, a pair of x-rays and computer technology are used to accurately locate the abnormality, then a special vacuum biopsy device obtains samples of tissue from the suspicious area through a very small hole. The tissue is then sent to J.C. Blair's pathologists for diagnosis. 

Stereotactic Breast Biopsies at J.C. Blair are scheduled on an as-needed basis - usually with a few days of an abnormal mammogram reading.

What should I expect during my exam?

This exam is performed by specially trained radiologists and mammography technologists in the mammography suite at J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital. Special instructions will be explained to the patient prior to scheduling the exam. Medical history and medications will be addressed. Done on an outpatient basis, the appointment takes approximately one hour with the actual biopsy procedure taking less than ten minutes. 

You will be seated in a comfortable biopsy chair for the entire exam. The breast will be held in place by biopsy paddles and stereo pairs of x-ray images will be obtained to locate the area of interest. When the area is located there will be a small injection of anesthesia to help numb the breast. A small nick is made in the skin to allow easy access for the biopsy needle. The radiologist will advance the needle to the area of abnormality. 

Tissue samples will be acquired using the biopsy needle and a vacuum assisted device. The tissue samples will be imaged in the mammography suite to assure the area of concern was biopsied. The biopsy needle will be removed and a special tissue marker will be deployed into the breast biopsy site. The tissue marker will remain in the breast with no adverse effects. The tissue samples will be sent to the pathology department at J.C. Blair for diagnosis. 

A post procedure mammogram will be performed to confirm that the tissue marker is in the proper position. When the biopsy is complete, pressure will be held on the area of biopsy to stop bleeding and a small pressure bandage will be applied to the breast. A post procedure instruction sheet will be given to the patient upon completion of the exam. It will be necessary for you to have a ride home following your procedure. Most women return to their normal routine immediately, however, we recommend no strenuous activity for 24 hours.

When will I be informed of my results?

The biopsy reults will be phoned to the patient by the radiologist as soon as they are available, usually within seven days.

To schedule a Stereotactic Breast Biopsy, call J.C. Blair's Radiology Department at (814) 643-8624.

Please arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment to register, unless you have been pre-registered. Be sure to bring your insurance card and healthcare provider's order with you.