What Is Breast Biopsy?

When a nodule is present in the breast that cannot be characterized as benign by any imaging modality, it may have to be biopsied because of cancer suspicion.  Breast biopsies are very common and needle guidance to the lesion is preferably performed with ultrasound assistance.  Rarely, the lesion is visible only on MRI. This modality is used for biopsy guidance.

How Is Breast Biopsy Performed?

Ultrasound Guided Breast Biopsy


An ultrasound-guided breast biopsy is simple and virtually a pain-free procedure.  You will be asked to lie down on a padded table and initial localization of the lesion will be performed by the doctor.   The skin will be sterilized and a sterile drape will be placed over your breast.  A small amount of lidocaine will be injected to numb your skin.  After numbing of the skin, you should feel no pain.  A biopsy needle will be directed into the lesion under ultrasound guidance.  One or more biopsy samples are obtained through the same needle and the specimens are sent to a pathology lab.  Results become available within 3 days and these are communicated in writing and via telephone to the referring physician and patient.  

If you have any questions about ultrasound-guided biopsies, please contact one of our radiologists, who will be happy to help you.