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Breast Biopsy/Cyst Aspiration

Lumps or abnormalities in the breast are often detected by physical examination, mammography, or other imaging studies. However, it is not always possible to tell from these imaging tests whether a growth is benign or cancerous. A breast biopsy is performed to remove some cells—either surgically or through a less invasive procedure involving a hollow needle—from a suspicious area in the breast and examine them under a microscope to determine a diagnosis. During a breast biopsy, part or all of a tumor may be removed. Image-guided biopsy is performed when the abnormal area in the breast is too small to be felt, making it difficult to locate the lesion by hand (called palpation). In ultrasound-guided breast biopsy, ultrasound imaging is used to help guide the interventional radiologist's instruments to the site of the abnormal growth.

Ultrasound guidance is used in four biopsy procedures:

  • Fine needle aspiration (FNA), which uses a very small needle to extract fluid or cells from the abnormal area.
  • Core needle(CN) which uses a large hollow needle to remove one sample of breast tissue per insertion.
  • Vacuum-assisted device (VAD) which uses a vacuum powered instrument to collect multiple tissue samples during one needle insertion.
  • Wire localization, in which a guide wire is placed into the suspicious area to help the surgeon locate the lesion during surgical biopsy.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 832-912-3724.

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