Understanding Minimally Invasive Breast Biopsies

When a lump is discovered in a breast through manual exam or mammography, a biopsy may be needed to determine whether the mass is malignant or benign. It is not always apparent through imaging whether the lump is a cyst or a tumor, and whether that tumor is cancerous or not. Although in some cases surgical biopsy may be needed, often a minimally invasive biopsy can be performed. Two main options are available, including stereotactic and ultrasound-guided biopsies.

Image-Guided Breast Biopsies

Both stereotactic biopsies and those guided by ultrasound use images to pinpoint the location of the mass in the breast. The size and location of the lump will determine whether stereotactic biopsy or the use of an ultrasound-guided biopsy will be used. Both use images that show exactly from where the small amount of tissue needs to be extracted. This is usually done using either a core needle or fine needle to remove tissue from the lump that can be closely examined for cancerous cells under a microscope.

These biopsies are done on an outpatient basis and are relatively quick with very little recovery needed in comparison to a surgical biopsy. While this procedure can be scary for the patient, most biopsies return benign results. However, whatever the result, it is important to know as soon as possible in case further treatment is needed.

When a surgical biopsy can be avoided, a minimally invasive biopsy using radiology technology is a preferred option for most patients that have a lump in their breast. These biopsies can be performed at qualified radiology clinics that offer both stereotactic and ultrasound-guided biopsies as part of their imaging services.

Posted on behalf of:
Diagnostic Radiology Ultrasound & Breast Center, P.C.
Mount Vernon Medical Center
755 Mount Vernon Highway Northeast #310
Atlanta, GA 30328
(404) 252-3430