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ultrasound-guided breast biopsy

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The Ultrasound Guided Breast Biopsy (UGBB) allows the radiologist to obtain a tissue sample for pathologic examination obviating the need for an open surgical biopsy. UGBB is used for the diagnosis of sonographically detected breast lesions. Precise needle placement is determined by the radiologist using computer assisted ultrasound techniques.
UGBB has a number of advantages over surgical breast biopsy. It eliminates the need for hospitalization and anesthesia, it is performed in an outpatient office, and it can be done for approximately half the cost of a surgical biopsy. With UGBB, there is no external scarring or deformity, and it does not result in residual scar tissue within the breast that may make future mammography interpretations difficult.
UGBB is performed by a board certified radiologist who has received additional training in this procedure. A registered sonographer assists the radiologist during the procedure. Prior to the biopsy, a sonographer will meet with you to discuss the procedure, the radiologist will evaluate your breast imaging findings and an approach will then be selected to allow the easiest access to the lesion.
Ultrasound guidance is utilized for four biopsy procedures:
  • Fine needle aspiration (FNA), which uses a small needle to extract fluid or cells from the abnormal area.
  • Core Needle (CN) which uses a hollow needle to remove one sample of breast tissue per insertion.
  • Vacuum-assisted Needle Biopsy which uses a vacuum powered instrument to collect multiple tissue samples with one needle insertion.
  • Wire localization, in which a wire is placed into the suspicious area to help the surgeon locate the lesion for surgical biopsy.
Because UGBB is considered a surgical procedure, you will be required to sign an informed consent form before the biopsy can be performed. For the consent to be medically legal, you cannot be under the influence of any tranquilizers or anxiety medication. If you feel you will need to take those types of medications in order to proceed with your UGBB, we request that you inform our staff prior to arriving at our office for your procedure. We will make arrangements with you to obtain your signed informed consent prior to you taking medications prescribed to you by your physician for anxiety.
How is the Ultrasound Guided Breast Biopsy performed?
You will be positioned on an exam table that allows the physician access to the breast. Ultrasound is used to localize the lesion. Once the lesion has been localized, local anesthesia is injected, and a small skin incision is made. The radiologist then guides the needle to the lesion and extracts the tissue sample(s) needed for pathological interpretation.
What preparation is needed?
Wear loose comfortable clothing. A two piece garment is recommended. Please wear a bra. If you take aspirin or blood thinners, discontinue these 5 days prior to the procedure (with your doctor’s approval). Take all other medications as prescribed. Inform our office if you have a cardiac pacemaker/defibrillator, or any other implanted electronic medical device. It is not necessary to fast before your procedure, but please refrain from eating 4 hours prior to the procedure (unless you are diabetic).
How long does it take?
Please plan on being in the office for 90 minutes.
What can be expected after the exam?
You will be asked to refrain from any strenuous physical activities for 24 hours. You will be given a list of instructions to follow before you leave the office.
When will my physician get the results?
The tissue sample(s) will be sent to the lab. Your physician should have the results of your biopsy within 2 business days.