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Stereotactic Core Biopsy of the Breast

This information explains your stereotactic core biopsy of the breast procedure.

You are scheduled for stereotactic core biopsy of your left / right breast. It is done to sample an area of concern that is seen on a mammogram.

Your appointment date is _____________________.

Call the day before your biopsy to confirm your appointment and check the time. The number is __________________.

The biopsy will be done at: ____________________________________________________________.

If you take a blood thinning medicine, you will need to stop taking it before the procedure. Tell the doctor who ordered it that you will be having a biopsy and ask if you need “bridge therapy.

Stop the following five days before the biopsy:

  • Aspirin and products that have aspirin
  • Vitamin E and multivitamins that have vitamin E
  • All herbal remedies
  • Coumadin®
  • Plavix® if you take it by mouth

Stop the following 24 hours before the biopsy:

  • Low molecular weight heparin by injection
  • NSAIDS (e.g. ibuprofen, Motrin®, Advil®, Aleve®)

How It Is Done

You will lie on your stomach on a specially designed table. Your breast will hang through a hole in the table. It will be compressed by a mammography machine under the table. A computerized mammography machine will take images to locate the area of concern.

Once the site is located, your breast will be cleaned. A local anesthetic will be injected to numb the site undergoing the biopsy. A very small incision will be made so the needle can be inserted into the area. It is left in place while more images are made. This is to be sure the needle is in the correct spot. When the correct placement is confirmed, tissue will be withdrawn. A small marker may be left at the spot so that the area can be identified if you need surgery. You will not be able to feel the marker and it will not set off metal detectors. After the biopsy, the area will again be cleaned and a pressure dressing will be put over it. A mammogram may be done after the biopsy.

For many women, the most difficult part of the exam is lying with their arms over their head or at their sides for up to 60 minutes. You cannot move because movement changes the location of the site undergoing the biopsy.

The Day of

  • Shower the morning of the biopsy.
  • Eat your regular meals the day of the biopsy.
  • Wear comfortable clothing (preferably a two-piece outfit).
  • Bring a sports bra or snug supporting bra to wear after the biopsy.
  • Do not apply any moisturizers, lotions, or talcum powder the day of the biopsy.

After the Biopsy

You will be able to return home after the biopsy. You will be given instructions for care of the biopsy site.