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Stereotactic core needle biopsy

Stereotactic Core Needle Biopsy Instructions

September 05, 2019

If you’re scheduled for a stereotactic core needle biopsy, here is what you can expect during the procedure:

  • The procedure will be performed while you are either laying or sitting on a special exam table.
  • The technologist will begin by taking some mammogram images to locate the biopsy site.
  • Once the area is localized, the breast is compressed and held in position throughout the procedure.
  • A local anesthetic (lidocaine) will be injected into the breast – 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 and advances it to the area of concern.
  • There are sounds associated with the biopsy device.
  • Tissue samples are then removed using suction.
  • A small marker may be placed at the site so that it can be located in the future, if necessary.
  • A mammogram will be performed after the procedure to document the area of biopsy.
  • Once the biopsy is complete, pressure will be applied for a minimum of 10 minutes to stop any bleeding, and the opening in the skin will be covered with surgical tape (steri-strip) and a gauze dressing. No sutures are needed.
  • You will be awake during your biopsy.

Adhere to the following instructions before and after the procedure for the best outcome.

Prebiopsy Instructions

  • Prior to a needle biopsy, you should report to your doctor if you have any allergies, especially to local anesthetic such as lidocaine.
  • Arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment to check in and take care of any co-payments as needed by your insurance company.
  • There are no diet restrictions on the date of the biopsy. You may have a light breakfast or light lunch prior to the procedure.
  • Most patients feel comfortable driving home after the procedure, but if you prefer, bring someone to drive you home.
  • Do not take any aspirin, nonsteroidal 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 for 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, you should continue with all other scheduled medications including blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, thyroid medication, etc.
  • Wear a loose top to make room for an ice pack and ACE bandage that will be placed over biopsy area after the procedure.
  • You should not wear deodorant, powder, or perfume under your arms or on your breasts on the day of the exam.

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 risk of 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 – 24 hours, as directed.
  • Keep the biopsy site dry for 48 hours. You may shower after 48 hours, but do not submerge biopsy area until the steri-strips fall off. This usually occurs in 5 to 6 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 problems, please contact your physician. You may also contact the Kelsey-Seybold Contact Center, which is available 24 hours a day, at 713-442-0000.

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