Imaging Associates offers non-surgical, minimally invasive breast biopsies, including those guided by ultrasound, stereotactic, and MRI.
The new Affirm Prone Biopsy System is now available at Imaging Associates’ Mat-Su Location.
Key advantages of this system:
- Stereotactic and 3D Breast Biopsy
- Total 360 degree access
- Ergonomically engineered cushions for patient comfort
See the Stereotactic Breast Biopsy tab below for more information and a demonstration video.
What you should know
What is a breast biopsy
Biopsies are the only definitive way to confirm if breast tissue is benign or cancerous. Needle biopsy is a safe, minimally invasive procedure used to get a sample from an abnormal breast lesion. Small amounts of breast tissue are removed through a needle, and the tissue is studied under a microscope by a pathologist, who will then provide a diagnosis.
What should I expect with a biopsy?
We realize a biopsy may be an emotionally stressful experience. However, patient comfort, in addition to an accurate diagnosis, is our priority. Our radiologists and staff are trained to make this procedure as comfortable and quick as possible. A needle biopsy can be performed with local anesthetic and minimal discomfort. With this procedure, no stitches are required and most women can resume normal daily activity immediately. Keep in mind that more than 80% of all breast abnormalities are benign or non-cancerous.
If it makes you feel more comfortable, you may want a relative or friend to join you to lend support and drive you home. Please do not take aspirin or Ibuprofen for 5-7 days prior to biopsy. Prior to your appointment, please let the staff know if you are taking any blood thinners. Please wear a supportive bra to help maintain the post-biopsy dressing. It is helpful to wear a two-piece outfit, preferably one that buttons up the front. No change of eating habits is required.
Ultrasound guided biopsy
ULTRASOUND GUIDED BIOPSY: An ultrasound-guided biopsy is a technique most often used when a breast abnormality is visible using an ultrasound machine. This will have been determined prior to your biopsy being scheduled.
What to expect during the procedure
For an ultrasound guided biopsy, you will lie on your back or turn slightly to the side on an comfortable exam table. The ultrasound probe is used to locate the abnormality. Local anesthetic is injected to ensure that you will be comfortable. The radiologist will then create a small nick in the skin through which the biopsy needle will be inserted, and several samples of tissue will be obtained for evaluation. When the tissue sampling is complete, a small marking clip may be left at the site of biopsy, so it can be easily located for future follow up if surgery becomes necessary. We will provide you with an ice pack and post biopsy care instructions.
Stereotactic breast biopsy
STEREOTACTIC BREAST BIOPSY: A stereotactic breast biopsy allows for a needle biopsy to be performed on lesions which are more easily seen on mammography than on breast ultrasound. This type of biopsy utilizes x-ray images (mammograms) of the breast tissue to guide the biopsy needle to the area of interest. Stereotactic biopsies are most commonly performed on tiny breast calcifications; but may also be utilized on breast masses in certain situations.
The new Affirm Prone stereotactic biopsy system with 3D imaging is now available at Imaging Associates’ Mat-Su location.
This system improves the speed and efficiency of many prone biopsy procedures. The faster you can identify, target and access lesions for biopsy, the less time under compression for the patient. Quickly access challenging lesions with a fully integrated C-arm that enables 360 degree breast access.
Please view the brief demonstration video for further description.
What to expect during the procedure
This minimally invasive procedure requires you to be positioned lying face down on a specially designed table used specifically for breast biopsies. Your breasts are actually positioned through an opening in the table. We will then clean the skin and inject a local anesthetic. A tiny incision less than a quarter of an inch is made without causing any significant alteration in the appearance of the breast. The radiologist will remove several samples of tissue through this incision. When the tissue sampling is complete, a small marking clip may be left at the site of biopsy, so it can be easily located for future follow up if surgery becomes necessary.
MRI guided breast biopsy
MR-GUIDED BIOPSY: An MR-guided biopsy is guided in real-time by magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. It is the latest development and an important advance in diagnosing breast cancer. It is useful when neither ultrasound nor stereotactic-guided biopsy is appropriate, usually because the area of concern is not well seen by mammogram or ultrasound, but is discovered on MRI.
What to expect during the procedure
During an MR-guided biopsy, a local anesthetic is injected into the breast to numb it and contrast material is given intravenously. You will be positioned face down on your stomach and your breast(s) will be positioned into a cushioned opening containing a special breast-imaging coil. Using computer software, the radiologist determines the position and depth of the lesion for biopsy. When the tissue sampling is complete, a small marking clip may be left at the site of biopsy, so it can be easily located for future follow up if surgery becomes necessary.
If you have minor claustrophobia or anxiety, you may request to be prescribed a mild sedative at the beginning of your appointment, in consultation with the on site radiologist. Avoid eating a large meal immediately prior to the exam and plan to arrive about 30 minutes before your appointment time.
When you arrive you will be asked to complete paperwork regarding your history and symptoms. You will be asked to remove all jewelry, since these items disturb MRI signals. It is very important that any prior breast films (mammograms, ultrasound or MRI) be available to the radiologist for comparison. If you have had these at a facility other than Imaging Associates, please bring them with you on the day of your appointment. If you have any of the items listed below, call 907-222-4624 so we can make arrangements for you before your appointment. Many of these items are contraindications to having an MRI as they are not compatible with the magnetic field present around all MRI machines.
- Cardiac Pacemaker
- Artificial heart valve prostheses
- Aneurysm clips
- Eye implants or metal ear implants or any metal implants activated electronically, magnetically or mechanically.
- Any metal puncture(s) or fragment(s) in eye
- Copper 7 IUD
What instructions do I follow after a biopsy?
After your biopsy, do not participate in any strenuous activity or take aspirin for 48-hours. You will be given an ice pack to place inside of your bra and will need to wear it for at least 4 hours. You are also asked to sleep in your bra for the next two nights. You may take Tylenol or Ibuprofen (Advil, Nuprin, Motrin) if needed for any discomfort. The outer dressing may be removed after 24 hours. Do not get the area wet until this is done. The steristrip may be removed five days after the biopsy. You may bathe carefully with the steristrips in place, being careful not to loosen them. You may have some discomfort or bruising at the skin incision site. Watch for excessive bleeding, pain, or fever. Should any of these occur, contact our office.
Questions or concerns?
Our friendly and knowledgable staff is here to help. For questions or concerns regarding breast biopsies please feel free to contact us.