(Biopsy and Cyst Aspiration)
If your mammogram indicates that you need further tests…
After your mammogram, your healthcare provider may send you back to SIRA for further testing called a galactagram or a core biopsy. These exams are ordered only after all the preliminary films have been done. Although the idea of more testing may be frightening, remember that the goal is to completely understand the condition you’re experiencing in order to help you return to health. Have confidence that we at SIRA will treat you with respect and the gentlest care possible.
How to prepare for your biopsy
Radiologists do breast biopsies using x-rays, ultrasound or MRI to assist in guiding the needle to the proper place in your breast.
The x-ray technique is known as the stereotactic method. This technique is used primarily for suspicious calcifications.
More commonly, the biopsy procedure is done using ultrasound to guide the procedure. You can read about these procedures here.
How to prepare for your stereotactic biopsy
For a stereo core biopsy, you will be positioned face down on a special table which enables the doctor to work with your breast. The table has an attachment that acts like a mammography unit in the way that it compresses your breast. Next, you will receive a local anesthetic and then x-rays will be taken at two different angles. Our computer then analyzes these x-rays to determine the location for the biopsy.
For the biopsy itself, the doctor will insert a needle into your breast and a small amount of the tissue in question is quickly extracted with a special vacuum.
The biopsy specimens are taken to the laboratory for preparation and analysis by pathologists. Your results will probably be ready for the radiologist to review within 24 to 48 hours. After the radiologist has a chance to study these, we will call you to discuss the findings.
This exam usually takes about an hour and you will be able to return home immediately afterward. You will want to take it easy for the rest of the day after your biopsy.
How to prepare for your ultrasound-assisted biopsy
Often, a procedure similar to the stereo core biopsy (above) is done using ultrasound instead of an x-ray to assist us further in accurately locating your mass. This exam, too, usually takes about an hour and you will be able to return home immediately afterward. You will want to take it easy for the rest of the day after your biopsy.
How to prepare for your MRI-assisted breast biopsy
An MRI breast biopsy is a procedure in which part or all of a suspicious breast growth is removed and examined through MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) guidance. The breast is visualized and mapped using MRI, then the growth sample is suctioned out through a needle by our radiologist. Once the sample is attained, additional MRI views are taken to assure sample accuracy. The sample is then examined and evaluated under a microscope by a pathologist to identify non-cancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant) tissue. The pathologist and radiologist will contact your physician with the results.
Please read our MRI pages to learn how to prepare for MRI services at SIRA. Notably, you will need to remove any metal from your body or clothes including jewelry, hairpins and barrettes, and you will want to wear two-piece clothing so that your upper body may be undressed for the procedure.
How to prepare for your galactagram
If you re experiencing breast discharge (leakage of fluid from a duct in your nipple), you may need a test called a galactagram to accurately diagnose the condition. For this exam, the radiologist will insert a small tube into the leaking duct through your nipple. When the tube is in place, the doctor will inject a small amount of x-ray dye into your duct. The technologist and radiologist will then take pictures to show if you have blockage or filling defects in the ducts.
This exam usually takes about an hour and you will be able to return home immediately afterward with no restrictions.