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Stereotactic Breast Biopsy

This procedure helps to locate and evaluate breast abnormalities. During testing, a mammogram is used to determine the area of concern in the breast, then a sample is removed and examined under a microscope. Breast biopsies leave little to no scarring.

Why is it necessary?

This type of breast biopsy is usually done to check a lump or micro calcification found during a 3D mammogram.

How do I prepare for the test?

  • If you take a daily aspirin, stop 3-5 days before the biopsy unless your doctor advises otherwise.
  • If you take a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin), enoxaparin sodium (Lovenox), or clopidogrel bisulfate (Plavix), consult your cardiologist or your PCP to determine if it’s safe to stop the medication for 3-5 days.
  • Do not take ibuprofen, naproxen or fish oil 5 days before the biopsy.
  • Let us know if you’re pregnant.
  • Let us know if you’re unable to lay on your stomach for 30-40 minutes.

What happens on the day of my biopsy?

  • You are allowed to eat and drink and take your approved medications.
  • If you’re not allergic to acetaminophen, you may take 1-2 tablets before the biopsy.
  • You will remove the clothing above your waist and change into a gown with the opening in front.
  • Your skin will be washed with special soap.
  • You will be given a shot to numb the area of your breast where the biopsy will occur.
  • Mammogram images will be taken to determine exactly where the biopsy should be performed.

What happens during the test?

  • You will either lie face down on a padded biopsy table with one of your breasts positioned in a hole in the table or have the procedure in a seated position.
  • Your breast will be in compression during this procedure as during a mammogram.
  • If you’re lying down for the procedure, the table will be raised once you’re comfortable.
  • After your breast is numb, the doctor will make a very small incision.
  • Using the imaging, the doctor will guide the needle into the biopsy area.
  • A sample of breast tissue will be removed through the needle.
  • A small breast clip is then inserted into the breast to mark the biopsy site.
  • The needle is removed, and pressure will be applied on the needle site to stop any bleeding.
  • A small bandage strip will be put on the needle site.
  • You may shower 24 hours after the biopsy, blotting the bandage dry (do not rub).
  • Do not submerge breast in water until bandage strips fall off and biopsy site is healed.

What else should I know about the test?

  • The small cut made for the needle will not need stitches.
  • After the biopsy, a small metal clip will be inserted into the breast to mark the biopsy site for future reference.
  • A post procedure mammogram will be taken to document the clip placement and biopsy site.
  • The entire procedure will take approximately 60-90 minutes.

What happens after the test?

  • You will be able to resume your usual activities within 1 day.
  • Avoid heavy lifting or strenuous activities for 3 days.
  • The site may be tender for 2-3 days and you may have bruising, swelling or minor bleeding.
  • For extra support while you heal, wear a bra.
  • You may take acetaminophen every 4-6 hours as needed.
  • To ease pain and discomfort, you may apply a cold pack on the site for 10-20 minutes as needed (putting a thin cloth between the ice and your skin) to reduce swelling.
  • Your doctor’s office will receive your results in approximately 4 days.
  • If test results are not clear, you may need another biopsy.
  • Call your doctor if you experience complications. 

Questions? Please contact:

  • Lane Parker, Radiology Nurse Navigator 757-312-6564
  • Emma Martin, Radiology Procedure Nurse 757-312-4067

If you have any issues outside of our normal business hours, please contact your PCP or referring provider. In case of emergency, call 911.                                                                                                  


Diagnostic Center of Chesapeake

844 Battlefield Blvd. North

Chesapeake , VA 23320

Diagnostic Center of Chesapeake

844 Battlefield Blvd. North

Chesapeake, VA 23320