Needle Biopsy of the Breast

Image-guided Breast Biopsy Procedures, Performed by Carolina Radiology’s Interventional Radiologists

Breast biopsy may be recommended when an area of potentially cancerous tissue is discovered in a diagnostic mammogram, breast MRI, or breast ultrasound. The diagnostic breast imaging exam may have been conducted as a follow-up to a suspicious breast screening exam or after a lump or other breast abnormality has been discovered in a physical examination.

Our interventional radiologists perform breast biopsies using minimally invasive-procedures in which a small needle is inserted under image guidance to remove tissue samples for examination by a pathologist. The pathology exam determines whether the tissue is cancerous.

Image-guided breast biopsies can be performed on an outpatient basis, and only a local anesthetic is required.  Depending on factors such as the type and location of the abnormality, one of the following procedures will be selected:

  • Ultrasound-guided breast biopsy
  • MRI-guided breast biopsy
  • Stereotactic (X-ray) guided breast biopsy

All of these procedures also involve leaving a marker at the location of the biopsy for reference in the patient’s future imaging studies.