Breast Health Center
A breast biopsy is a procedure performed by a radiologist or surgeon to sample abnormal breast tissue for laboratory analysis. Breast biopsies allow physicians to evaluate abnormalities seen on the ultrasound, mammography and MRI. Biopsy is the only way to determine if an abnormality is benign or cancerous. Having a breast biopsy does not mean that you have breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, four out of every five biopsies performed are not cancerous.
When it comes to diagnostic testing, Elmhurst Memorial Hospital’s Reference Laboratory is in the lead among Chicago-area community hospitals. We perform more than 500 biopsies each year. Specially trained pathologists carefully analyze breast tissue specimens, usually making a diagnosis within 24 hours of your procedure. More than 250 hospitals, physician offices and institutions in 16 states rely on our laboratory for the right results. The Reference Laboratory is also affiliated with the world-renowned Mayo Clinic, giving our staff access to the clinic’s 850 physicians and scientists in case they need additional diagnostic experience in interpreting borderline test results.
Several different kinds of biopsies exist, and the type your physician recommends depends on the size, location and the abnormality detected.
These are the six types of biopsy procedures that we perform:
Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy
A physician places a thin needle attached to a syringe into the area of the breast abnormality. A small amount of cells or fluid is removed, and a pathologist examines it under a microscope. Local anesthetic may or may not be used.
Core Needle Biopsy
A physician inserts a needle into the breast abnormality several times to remove cores of tissue. Tissue samples are sent to our pathology lab for analysis. Local anesthetic is used.
Vacuum-Assisted Stereotactic Core Needle Biopsy
While lying face down on a table, your breast is positioned through an opening. Your breast is firmly compressed between two plates as a mammogram is taken to determine the exact location of the abnormality. The physician makes a small incision, inserts a biopsy instrument and uses that instrument and suction to remove tissue for analysis by our pathology lab. Local anesthetic is given.
MRI-Guided Core Needle Biopsy
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) generates 3D images of your breasts, so a physician can locate the breast abnormality for needle sampling. You will be positioned face down on an imaging table with your breasts placed in a hollow depression. The breast being sampled will be compressed during the procedure. The doctor makes a small incision, inserts a needle and collects tissue samples, which are sent to the lab for analysis. MRI requires that an IV be inserted in your arm, so we can administer a contrast material that’s needed to obtain images of the breast. A local anesthetic is given.
Needle localization is often recommended for abnormalities found on a mammogram or ultrasound that are not felt during an exam or that cannot be sampled with ultrasound, stereotactic or MRI techniques. Needle localization utilizes ultrasound or mammography imaging to place a wire in the breast through a thin hollow needle close to the area of the abnormality. A local anesthetic is administered during the procedure. When it is confirmed that the wire is positioned correctly, it will be taped to the outside of your breast and you will be taken to surgery to have the abnormality and the wire removed.
Surgical biopsy involves removing abnormal breast tissue in the operating room. The tissue removed is sent to our pathology lab for analysis.
To learn more about biopsies, call us at (331) 221-6036.