Breast biopsy procedures are mildly invasive, and require an order from your physician. Biopsy procedures may also require pre-authorization from your insurance provider. A co-pay and/or deductible may apply. Please check with your health insurance provider regarding your specific plan benefits.
Most often, these studies involve prior imaging studies related to your diagnosis and/or treatment plan. We request that you obtain copies, or sign a release for us to obtain copies, of any previous related imaging studies and reports not performed with Vancouver Radiologists for us to use for comparison. We will do our best to coordinate your appointment to accommodate these requirements.
If one of the following procedures is recommended, you will receive a call from our office with additional information, and to answer your questions, a day or two before your procedure.
Be sure to tell a member of the health care team if you:
- have any known allergies
- have known liver disease, or bleeding problems
- take specific blood thinners, or other medications
- are pregnant or think you may be (stereotactic biopsy only)
- are needle phobic*
*Anti-anxiety (mild sedation) medication is available and requires additional observation time post procedure. Sedation requests require a driver upon discharge. If you arrive without a driver, your procedure may be rescheduled.
Procedure time from patient check in to exit can vary and is based on the exam ordered as well as the individual. As always, if you have questions or concerns before or after your procedure, please contact us and ask to speak to one of our Patient Navigators at (360)254-4914.
A member of our health care team will review your clinical history and discuss the procedure with you prior to the examination. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your exam, please ask your technologist. The technologist will ensure the images taken are complete and accurate, before you leave the clinic; however please note, the technologist does not interpret the images.
In most cases, when fluid or tissue specimens are obtained during the procedure, they are sent the same day to Legacy Laboratory Services, unless noted otherwise. Please check with your health insurance provider regarding your specific plan benefits.
Our radiologist will review and interpret your images. Procedure and laboratory results will be communicated to your healthcare provider to discuss with you. If you have not been contacted with results within 72 hours, please contact your healthcare provider.
Before your appointment:
- Please plan to arrive 15-30 minutes prior to your procedure time.
- The day before procedure, you should drink more fluids than usual, such as water, juice, herbal teas to ensure you are well hydrated.
- You may continue to take your regular pain medications, as needed.
- If instructed, you may be asked to stop taking some medications before your test.
- For procedures using sedation, patients should not eat solid foods for at least 4 hours prior to the test, but you may sip water or other clear liquids, as needed.
General Post-Procedure Care Instructions:
You will be provided specific discharge instructions based on the procedure performed. The following information is provided only as general guidelines, and is not all inclusive:
- For pain and discomfort, you may take a mild non-aspirin medication such as Tylenol or Advil for pain relief; use as directed.
- Refrain from strenuous activity for the first 24 hours post procedure. Providing support for the breast by wearing a well-fitting bra may decrease discomfort. You may want to wear your bra through the first night.
- You may resume your normal diet and medications, unless told otherwise.
- Call your healthcare provider with any signs of infection, abnormal swelling or unrelieved pain.
Breast Ultrasound Core Biopsy
A core biopsy (CB) may be recommended to provide tissue analysis by an off-site laboratory in those situations when the mammogram and/or breast ultrasound studies provided incomplete data and evaluation the radiologist desires. In addition, a small radiopaque clip may be left behind in the biopsy area for future imaging and diagnostic purposes.
Using ultrasound imaging to pinpoint the exact location of the biopsy area, the radiologist will prepare the skin and administer a numbing agent before inserting the biopsy needle through the skin and advancing it into the fluid or lesion to remove multiple samples. This will be repeated, as necessary.
Expect some post -procedure observation time. Because a biopsy involves the cutting of tissue, you may have a small amount of bleeding and/or bruising at the biopsy site. A small dressing and/or cold pack may be applied before you leave.
Stereotactic Breast Biopsy
A stereotactic core biopsy (stereo) is performed upright, in a sitting position under the guidance of digital mammography. A stereotactic breast biopsy may be recommended to provide tissue analysis by an off-site laboratory in those situations when the mammogram and/or breast ultrasound studies provided incomplete data and evaluation the radiologist desires.
Stereotactic mammography pinpoints the exact location of a breast mass by using a computer and digital mammograms taken from two different angles. You will feel compression of the breast similar to a mammogram. Using these computer coordinates, the radiologist inserts the needle through the skin, advances it into the lesion and removes tissue sample(s). A special biopsy needle that administers a numbing agent will be used. In addition, a small radiopaque clip may be left behind in the biopsy area for future imaging and diagnostic purposes.
Expect some post -procedure observation time. Because a stereotactic core biopsy involves the cutting of tissue, you may have a small amount of bleeding and/or bruising at the biopsy site. A small dressing and cold pack may be applied before you leave.