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Types of Breast Biopsies 

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As early detection of breast cancer has become the standard of care, it is often necessary to perform image-guided tissue biopsies to detect or exclude breast cancer. Percutaneous or nonsurgical breast biopsy has revolutionized the diagnosis of breast cancer. These procedures require no general anesthesia and are minimally invasive.

Tissue biopsies can be performed using ultrasound, stereotactic and MRI guidance. Techniques include cyst aspiration, fine needle aspiration with cytology, core needle biopsy and vacuum-assisted needle sampling of breast abnormalities.

State of the art equipment and radiologist expertise allows accurate targeting and sampling of the area in question. 

 Stereotactic breast biopsy 
A special mammography machine (low-dose X-ray system) helps to guide a radiologist’s instruments to the site of abnormal growth. A needle is inserted only once, but six to 12 samples are usually collected during the procedure. No scar is left by the incision, and most women report little or no pain.

Ultrasound-Guided Core Breast Biopsy
Ultrasound-guided breast biopsy is a procedure that uses ultrasound (sound waves) to pinpoint suspicious areas in the breast, so that tissue samples may be withdrawn with a needle.  Ultrasound-guided biopsy is preferred by many physicians and patients because it is a fast, less invasive procedure, and causes less discomfort that a traditional surgical biopsy. 

 MRI-guided core breast biopsy
This type of core breast biopsy uses MRI and computer analysis to locate a breast tumor and accurately target the needle into the tumor. This is helpful for women with a suspicious area that can only be seen by MRI.

Ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration

An ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration is often done when a doctor finds a breast lump that appears to be a cyst. The doctor tries to remove fluid from the lump using a thin needle guided by an ultrasound. If the lump is a cyst, the fluid is aspirated and the cyst goes away. If the lump is solid, cells can be taken out with the needle and checked for cancer.

Read more about image-guided biopsy procedures on the RadiologyInfo website.

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