Medical Imaging Northwest | Needle Biopsy of the Breast

Needle Biopsy of the Breast

Ultrasound-Guided Biopsy

You will lie on your back or turn slightly to the side. The ultrasound probe is used to locate the lesion. Local anesthetic is injected to ensure your comfort. The radiologist will create a nick in the skin through which the biopsy needle will be inserted. Several samples of tissue will be obtained for evaluation.

Stereotactic Breast Biopsy


This minimally invasive procedure requires you to be seated in a chair that is used specifically for breast biopsies. Please allow approximately two hours for this examination at our Puyallup Imaging Center. Wear a two-piece outfit with a loose fitting top. You may be more comfortable with a loose bra or sports bra after the procedure.

Discontinue aspirin three days before the procedure. If you are taking a blood thinner, it must be discontinued prior to the procedure. Consult with your physician to determine the proper period of time to be off the medication.

You may be requested to have a blood test done the day before your examination to check for any abnormal bleeding tendencies. Please take all regular medications as scheduled the day of the biopsy (except blood thinners and aspirin).  You should be able to drive yourself home after the procedure, but if you wish, a family member may accompany you to and from the office.

Also, please make arrangements to keep your children at home on the day of your appointment. There are no childcare services on-site, and due to the presence of radiation, children are not allowed to enter exam rooms during imaging procedures.

What should I expect?


After checking in with the receptionist and being escorted to a dressing booth, you will meet in a private mammography room with a Technologist for questions and discussion. The procedure is conducted in a Mammographic Suite in a similar fashion to a standard mammogram.

The biggest difference is that compression is applied throughout the procedure. During the procedure you will be made as comfortable as possible. After the Radiologist has reviewed your prior studies, he/she will determine the optimal location to place the needle. Two or three "localizing" images will be obtained.

A local anesthetic will be given to numb the skin and underlying tissue. A very small slit will be made in the skin to allow easy needle passage.

Following this, using the stereotactic localizing system, the Radiologist will place the needle, reposition it as necessary, and two additional images will be obtained to confirm needle position in the lesion. The biopsy will then be obtained.

Most patients feel only a "pop" or tugging sensation when the specimen is obtained. This procedure will be repeated multiple times to assure that adequate tissue specimens have been collected.

When the Radiologist has determined that an adequate specimen has been obtained, compression will be released. Direct pressure is then applied to the biopsy site. This reduces bruising.

A bandage will be placed on the biopsy site, which should be left on until the following morning. Under the bandage, a small piece of tape called a steri-strip will be placed over the slit in your skin. This should remain in place until it falls off your skin by itself.

You will be asked to wear a cold-pack over the biopsy site inside your bra for at least 40 minutes. This reduces discomfort and bruising. You may take Motrin, Ibuprofen or Tylenol as needed. Some bruising is to be expected.

A follow-up appointment with the Radiologist will be scheduled.

Results of the biopsy are usually available three working days after the biopsy is performed. Please contact your referring physician for results at that time.

Which location provides the service?


Puyallup Imaging Center

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