Stereotactic Imaged Guided Breast Core Biopsy

Stereotactic (x-rays from two angles) breast biopsy is used to biopsy an abnormal area or microcalcifications found on a mammogram. In some cases, this procedure eliminates the need for a more invasive surgical biopsy. The accuracy of outpatient stereotactic biopsy can be as great as open biopsy and is less costly.

What is involved?

Stereotactic biopsy at Memorial Regional Breast Care Center is done in a prone (laying face down) position on a table. Your breast will be suspended through an opening in the table and positioned with compression, similar to a mammogram, during the entire procedure. Computer digital mammograms will be taken and appear on a monitor to calculate the location of the area to be biopsied. Images will be taken throughout the procedure to ensure accuracy of the area for tissue sampling.

After the abnormal area is targeted, the radiologist will inject a local anesthetic into your breast. A small skin nick will be made in the breast at the biopsy site. The probe will be advanced through the skin nick to the biopsy site.

The radiologist will rotate the probe inside the breast so cores of tissue can be sampled at the site. A vacuum system draws the tissue into the needle’s collection area. The vacuum system is also used to suction out blood or fluid at the biopsy site.

After an adequate sampling of tissue is done, the radiologist may place a small metallic clip at the biopsy site in the breast. This clip will mark where the biopsy occurred if surgery would be needed in this area. You will not be able to feel the clip nor would it interfere with metal detectors or having an MRI done in the future.

Standard digital mammogram views will be done to reestablish a baseline after biopsy and verify clip placement. Steri strips and a pressure dressing will be applied. The nurse will go over written discharge instructions with you.

Preparing for Your Biopsy

  • Please eat before your procedure.
  • Call your insurance company to pre-certify and inform them you are having this outpatient procedure to verify coverage.
  • Although you will not be given any medications to make you drowsy, you may choose to have someone drive you to and from the Breast Care Center.
  • Do not take any medications containing aspirin, ibuprofen or Aleve three days prior to your biopsy. The nurse will talk to you about allergies and any other blood thinners you may be on. You may take acetaminophen.


The pathologist’s report takes at least three working days. Your physician will inform you of the results when they become available. If the biopsy is benign, the radiologist may recommend a four to six month follow-up to reevaluate the biopsy area.