Imaging techniques play an important role
in helping doctors perform breast biopsies, especially of
abnormal areas that cannot be felt but can be seen on a mammogram
or with ultrasound. A breast biopsy is performed to remove cells — either surgically or through a less invasive procedure involving a hollow needle — from an area in the breast suspected to be cancerous. These cells are examined under a microscope to determine a diagnosis.
Stereotactic Breast Biopsy
One type of needle biopsy, the stereotactic-guided
biopsy, involves the precise location of the abnormal area
in three dimensions using digital mammography. Stereotactic
refers to the use of a computer and scanning devices to create
three-dimensional images. Following local anesthesia, a needle
is then inserted into the breast and tissue samples are obtained.
These are sent to the pathologist for microscopic examination.
The Breast Center has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in stereotactic breast biopsy as the result of a recent review by the American College of Radiology (ACR). The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting ACR Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field. Image quality, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures, and quality assurance programs are assessed.
Ultrasound-guided breast biopsy is a
procedure that uses ultrasound to enable the radiologist
to obtain small samples of breast tissue. Ultrasound images
are obtained of a localized area for biopsy. A local anesthetic
is then used to anesthetize the area for biopsy.
Ultrasound is used as a guide for the
radiologist to place the needle in the breast. After proper
placement of the needle, several samples of tissue are
then obtained. These are sent to the pathologist for microscopic
- Solid Breast Masses may undergo biopsy (tissue sampling)
using Ultrasound localization. Diagnosis may be made using
little more than a needle and Band-Aid.
- Cysts may be aspirated (drained) and fluid analyzed.
> MRI-Guided Procedures