Breast Biopsy

What is a Breast Biopsy?

A breast biopsy is used when an abnormality that has been detected by ultrasound, mammography, or clinical exam is found, and tissue acquisition is necessary to determine its nature.

At Iowa Radiology’s breast imaging center, we offer different types of biopsies, including ultrasound guided, stereotactic, and MRI guided. All procedures are performed in a convenient, comfortable outpatient setting. These procedures are minimally invasive, non-scarring, and non-surgical. You can return to normal activities the following day.

What happens during the test?

Our technologist will take a brief medical history. You will be asked to change into a gown and lie down on the scanning table, either face-up or on your stomach, depending on the type of biopsy needed. The doctor will apply a local anesthetic to your breast and insert a needle into the breast abnormality, using imaging guidance technology. Samples are obtained, and a small surgical marking clip is placed in the area biopsied, which will identify the site for future reference. The marker will cause no pain, disfigurement, or harm. Following the procedure, your skin will be covered with dermabond to protect the biopsy site and promote healing. A follow-up mammogram is then obtained.

Plan for a 2-hour appointment, which includes a radiologist consultation and additional mammogram images following the procedure. The procedure itself will take 30 to 40 minutes to complete.

How do I prepare for the test?

Wear a comfortable two-piece outfit. You will be asked to change into a gown. Eat a light meal. Plan to be off work the day of the procedure. Most patients can return to normal activities the following day. You will not need a driver.

When can I expect the results?

Samples are sent to an independent lab for analysis. Our radiologist will contact you within 48 hours with your results. Your doctor will also receive a report.

After the test

You will be sent home with an ice pack and post-procedure instructions. The site will be tender for a few days, and bruising will likely be present. Most women experience a moderate ache, which is usually controlled by an ice compress and acetaminophen. Avoid strenuous activity, and get plenty of rest. You may bathe the morning after the biopsy, being careful not to soak or scrub the biopsy site.



* The safety of our patients and those who accompany them to our office is of the utmost importance to the physicians and staff at Iowa Radiology. Please make arrangements for someone to care for your child/children during your exam. Thank you for your cooperation.

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