Stereotactic mammography pinpoints the exact location of a breast abnormality by using a computer analysis of x-rays taken from two different angles. Using the calculated computer coordinates, the radiologist inserts the needle through a small cut in the skin, then advances it into the lesion and removes tissue samples.

A stereotactic core biopsy is performed so that a sample of breast tissue can be taken from the breast of an abnormality that is visible on mammogram, but not on ultrasound scan.

The biopsy is carried out by the consultant in the x-ray department. There will also be a mammographer there, who will take the mammogram images .

You must tell us if you are on any medication to thin your blood, or if you have a clotting disorder. 

The consultant will explain how the biopsy will be done and will ask you to sign a consent form agreeing to have the biopsy taken. As the biopsy is guided by mammogram your breast will be compressed in the mammogram machine, this can be for up to 30 minutes. A mammogram will be done first, and the area to be biopsied will be identified. 

You will be made as comfortable as possible either sitting or lying down whilst your breast is in the mammogram machine. Your skin will be cleaned. Local anaesthetic will be given to numb your skin and the area to be biopsied.

You will feel stinging in the skin and tissues whilst the local anaesthetic is given.

A larger stereotactic core biopsy needle is put into your breast where the area has been numbed. 

It is important you keep as still as possible at this point of the procedure. You will feel some pressure but should not feel any pain. The biopsies are sometimes x-rayed, if we need to look for calcification. At this point we can decide if further biopsies are needed. When all the biopsies have been taken, and before the larger needle is removed, a marker clip will be placed into the biopsy site. 

The marker clip is approximately 2mm in size and it will not cause any pain once it is in your breast. This allows us to check with a mammogram that the correct area has been sampled, and will also highlight on any future mammograms, that the area has been tested. If no more biopsies are needed the needle will be removed. The Radiology assistant will press on the area that has had the biopsy for 10 -15 minutes, remove ,to reduce the risk of bleeding. You will be asked to remain in the hospital / or on the unit for 30 minutes. This is to ensure that if you have any bleeding, or feel unwell after the test, that you can receive medical assistance.

Specialised Procedures: