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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 & Breast Center of Chesapeake

844 Battlefield Blvd. North

Chesapeake , VA 23320

Diagnostic & Breast Center of Chesapeake

844 Battlefield Blvd. North

Chesapeake, VA 23320