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Breast Biopsy

Providing Critical Information for an Accurate Diagnosis

A biopsy is performed to evaluate abnormal or questionable breast imaging results. The breast biopsies performed at Southwest General’s Breast Center in the greater Cleveland area are essential to help physicians accurately diagnose breast conditions and determine the appropriate course of treatment. Typically, biopsies are ordered after an initial evaluation, such as a:

  • Screening mammogram
  • Diagnostic mammogram
  • Ultrasound examination of the breast

Biopsies are performed when there is a need for more information to confirm or rule out the presence of disease, including breast cancer.

Biopsies Performed with Skill and Compassion by Physicians

Biopsies are most frequently done in the outpatient setting, often at our Breast Center. Breast biopsies draw on the skills of radiologists, ultra-sonographers and surgeons. Procedures performed at Southwest General use advanced imaging technology and include:

  • Mammogram Guided Needle Placement
    Performed in our Breast Center, this procedure is used to identify an area for surgical removal of a specimen. A very thin wire is used to target the area of interest identified on the mammogram. Once the area is identified, the patient is taken to surgery and the specimen is removed and tested for abnormalities.
  • Ultrasound Guided Needle Placement
    This procedure also is performed in our Breast Center prior to surgery. A very thin wire, used to identify a specific area in the breast, is guided into place using ultrasound images. After the area is identified, a specimen will be surgically removed for further testing.
  • Stereotactic Biopsy
    A stereotactic biopsy is performed when an abnormal area in the breast is too small to be palpated (felt). The procedure is done in the Breast Center. The patient is positioned on a special table lying face down. The breast is placed through an opening for access to the area of interest. A core needle is inserted and a vacuum-assisted device is then used to remove some of the abnormal cells to determine if the suspected area (lesion) is benign or cancerous. An estimated six to eight samples will be removed.
  • Ultrasound Guided Core Biopsy
    This procedure is performed when an abnormality appears on an ultrasound exam of the breast. The ultrasound guided core biopsy is similar to the stereotactic biopsy. The only difference is that the core needle is guided by ultrasound and patients lie on their back for the procedure rather than face down.
  • Fine Needle Aspiration
    Performed using ultrasound for guidance, this procedure is used to remove fluid-filled areas, usually cysts, within the breast. The fluid is collected and taken to the laboratory to be tested for abnormalities.

If you have any questions about breast biopsy procedures, please call our breast health navigator at 440-816-2674.