Why a Breast Biopsy is Performed
A breast biopsy is performed when a mammogram, ultrasound or physical examination has found a lump or abnormality. This procedure involves taking sample tissue from the suspicious area. A biopsy allows a pathologist to examine the abnormal tissue under a microscope to determine what it is and whether it could possibly be cancerous.
Breast Biopsy Methods
Several factors determine which biopsy method should be used, including the location and size of the area in question. Your doctor may recommend one of the following breast biopsy methods.
- Ultrasound Guided Breast Biopsy - This method uses ultrasound to locate the abnormality and to provide precision and guidance while obtaining the samples. Once located, the area is numbed and a small incision is made so an instrument can be gently inserted to obtain tissue samples for the pathologist to review.
- Stereotactic Needle Biopsy - A stereotactic biopsy uses mammography and computer plotting to identify the breast abnormality. This method is frequently selected to sample micro-calcification of concern. The patient lies on her stomach with the breast fitted through a hole in the table. The breast is numbed, and a small incision is made. The instrument obtains numerous samples, which are sent to the pathologist for review.
- Surgical Biopsy - A surgical biopsy may be suggested to sample or remove the area in question. For this procedure it is necessary to come to the Day Surgery area. You may or may not need the assistance of mammography or ultrasound to help identify the location of the abnormality. A wire is guided to the abnormality and serves as a guide for the surgeon to locate the area to biopsied. Your surgeon and Anesthesiologist will determine what type of sedation or anesthesia is used for your surgical procedure.
- MRI Guided Breast Biopsy - An MRI guided breast biopsy is used when MR imaging reveals a breast abnormality, such as a suspicious mass unidentified by other surgical techniques, an area of distortion, or an area of abnormal tissue change. The biopsy is typically performed within a closed MRI system with a specially modified table where breasts hang freely from cushioned openings. MR imaging is used to assist in guiding the radiologist's instruments to the site of abnormal growth. This technique is available at MidMichigan Medical Center - Gratiot.
The MidMichigan Difference
The Center for Women’s Health at MidMichigan Medical Center–Midland has been designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology (ACR). MidMichigan is also one of the only programs in the region to be accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers.