Diagnostic Imaging

Diagnostic Imaging > Breast Biopsy

Breast Biopsy

A breast biopsy is a procedure where a small sample of breast tissue is removed for laboratory testing. It is a way to evaluate a suspicious area in your breast to determine whether it is cancerous. 

Your doctor may recommend a breast biopsy if:

  • You or your doctor feels a lump or thickening in your breast, and your doctor suspects breast cancer
  • Your mammogram shows a suspicious area in your breast
  •   An ultrasound scan reveals a suspicious finding
  •   Your breast MRI reveals a suspicious finding
  • You have unusual nipple or areola changes, including crusting, scaling, dimpling skin or a bloody discharge

Preparations for Biopsy:

  • Refrain from using any powder, perfume or deodorant on your body
  • Refrain from wearing any jewellery on your upper body
  • No special preparation of food restriction is required
  • Bring your old mammogram, ultrasound, MRI breast films or reports, if any, for comparison

There are several types of breast biopsy procedures available such as 

  • Vacuum-assisted Biopsy
  • Stereotactic Breast Biopsy
  • Ultrasound-guided Breast Biopsy
  • MRI-guided Breast Biopsy
  • Hookwire Localisation 


        Vacuum Assisted Biopsy 

This type of breast biopsy is performed under imaging guidance (Mammogram, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or Ultrasound).  It allows the area of abnormality to be precisely located using imaging guidance so that only samples from the region of interest are removed.  A special biopsy needle which is attached to a vacuum device is used by the doctor to remove the tissues.

        Stereotactic Breast Biopsy 

This type of biopsy uses mammograms to precisely identify and biopsy an abnormality within the breast. Stereotactic Breast Biopsy uses mammographic X-rays to locate and target the area of concern and to help guide the biopsy needle to remove several samples of tissue. The samples are sent to a lab for analysis.

        Ultrasound-guided Breast Biopsy

This type of biopsy involves ultrasound — an imaging method that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce precise images of structures within your body. The ultrasound device (transducer) aids the doctor to locate the mass within your breast. The needle will then be used to collect several core samples of tissue which would be sent to a lab for analysis.

        MRI-guided Breast Biopsy 

This type of biopsy is done under guidance of an MRI — an imaging technique that captures multiple cross-sectional images of your breast. The MRI machine provides images that help determine the exact location for the biopsy where a core needle is inserted to collect samples of tissue to be sent to a lab for analysis.

        Hookwire Localisation 

A hookwire localisation is where a fine wire, called a hookwire, is placed in the breast with its tip at the site of the abnormality. This is done when an abnormality needs to be surgically removed and a marker is required to guide the surgeon to the correct area of breast tissue.


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