Stereotactic Core Breast Biopsy

What Is Stereotactic Core Breast Biopsy?

Stereotactic breast biopsy is used to take tiny samples of your breast tissue that can be studied under a microscope. During this procedure, an x-ray helps find the tissue to be removed. Stereotactic biopsy may prevent the need for an open (surgical) biopsy. Open biopsy is done by taking samples of tissue through an incision (cut) made in the skin.

Before the Procedure

Before the biopsy, follow these and any other guidelines you're given:
  • Tell your doctor what medications you take (including aspirin and ibuprofen). Ask if and when you should stop taking them.
  • Wear a top that's easily removed and a comfortable bra.
  • Bathe before the procedure. Do not wear perfume, deodorant, antiperspirant, lotion, powder, or any other substance on your skin.

The Procedure

You will be asked to lie on your stomach on a special table. Your breast is placed through an opening in the table. The skin on your breast is cleansed. Then it is numbed with a local anesthetic so you won't feel pain. The breast is pressed between two flat plates. This is done so a low-dose x-ray can be taken. This x-ray helps find the exact tissue to be sampled. A small nick is made in your skin. A thin needle is inserted and guided to the biopsy area. The needle is used to remove several tiny samples of breast tissue. After the needle is taken out, a small bandage is placed on the skin. You can get dressed and go home soon after the procedure is finished.

After the Procedure

After the biopsy, follow these and any other guidelines you're given:

  • Take it easy for 24 hours.
  • Ask how long you should use an ice pack over the biopsy area, when your bandage can be taken off, and when you can take medication (including aspirin) again.
  • You may have a bruise for about one to two weeks after the procedure which will resolve.