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Breast MRI biopsy

Breast MRI Biopsy

February 12, 2018

During a breast MRI biopsy procedure, you can expect the following:

  • The clinical staff inserts an intravenous (IV) line into a vein in your hand or arm through which the contrast material will be given.
  • You will lie face down with your arms extended forward on a moveable exam table. The affected breast or breasts will be positioned into openings in the table. Your breasts are slightly compressed. Your head is supported on a frame (like on a massage table) with mirrors situated so that the surrounding area may be seen.
  • As the test starts, the table will proceed to enter the MRI machine feet first. Your breast will be scanned and then the contrast will be injected.
  • You will be scanned a second time to include the images with contrast.
  • A local anesthetic will be injected into the breast (lidocaine) – you will feel a slight pin prick from the needle.
  • A very small nick is made in the skin at the site where the biopsy needle is to be inserted.
  • The radiologist then inserts the needle, advances it to the location of the abnormality, and MR imaging is performed to verify its position.
  • There are sounds associated with the biopsy device.
  • Tissue samples are then removed through the needle using suction.
  • A small marker may be placed at the site so that it can be located in the future, if necessary.
  • Once the biopsy is complete, pressure will be applied for a minimum of 10 minutes to stop any bleeding. The opening in the skin is covered with surgical tape (steri-strips) and a gauze dressing. No sutures are needed.
  • A mammogram will be performed after the procedure to document the area of biopsy.
  • The entire process takes about 2 hours.

If you are scheduled for a breast MRI biopsy, please follow the guidelines below before and after your procedure.

Prebiopsy Instructions:

  • Arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment to check in and take care of any co-payments as needed by your insurance company.
  • Please advise the clinical staff if you have allergies to gadolinium or iodine prior to the procedure.
  • If you are claustrophobic, please contact your physician to obtain any medications you need prior to the procedure.
  • If you take a medication prior to the procedure, you will need to have a driver. You will need to arrive 1 hour before the MRI procedure to sign the consent and paperwork. Do not take any medication until after you have signed the consent form.
  • Do not take any aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, coumadin, or any other blood thinners for 7 days prior to biopsy. If you take Plavix, this blood thinning medication would need to be stopped 10 days prior to biopsy. If any of these medications have been prescribed to you by your doctor, you will need to get that doctor’s approval prior to stopping the medications.
  • Other than blood-thinning medication, do not disrupt any medication schedule. We want you to continue taking your blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid, cholesterol medications, etc. with a small sip of water. If you take insulin, you may have a light snack 3 hours prior to the procedure or as directed by your physician. Otherwise, do not eat or drink for 4 hours prior to your MRI biopsy.
  • If you weigh over 300 pounds, please notify us. You will not be able to have the procedure at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic.
  • If you are 60 years or older, take blood pressure medication, are diabetic, or have any renal problems, you will need to have some lab tests done within six weeks prior to the procedure.
  • Please inform your physician if you are pregnant.
  • If you have a pacemaker or defibrillator, you may not have this procedure.
  • Please inform the technologist if you have an aneurysm clip, have had brain surgery, or have any implanted devices, breast tissue expanders, or neuro stimulators.
  • Because the technology uses strong magnets, it is essential that you remove anything metal — jewelry, snaps, belts, earrings, zippers, etc. — before the test. You may choose to leave your jewelry at home.
  • Wear a loose top to make room for an ice pack and ACE wrap that will be placed over biopsy area.

Post-Biopsy Instructions:

  • Expect written instructions post procedure.
  • You may experience some bruising and tenderness after the biopsy.
  • The previously discussed blood thinning medications should be avoided 24 hours after procedure to avoid risks for complications.
  • You should avoid heavy lifting (10 pounds or over) and strenuous activity for 24 hours after procedure.
  • Utilize an ice pack over the biopsy site for several hours (30 minutes on and 30 minutes off). Place the ice pack in the freezer when not in use.
  • Utilize the ACE bandage provided to minimize breast movement for 12 to 24 hours, as directed.
  • Leave the gauze dressing in place and keep biopsy site dry for 48 hours. You may remove the gauze dressing and shower after 48 hours, but do not submerge area until the steri-strips fall off. This usually occurs in five to six days.
  • If desired, you may use a topical antibiotic at the biopsy site.
  • You should receive your biopsy results within 10 days. If you have not received your results within 10 days, please contact your doctor.

If you have any questions or concerns or begin to have any serious issues before or after the biopsy, please contact your physician. You can also contact our 24/7 Contact Center at 713-442-0427.

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