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Stereotactic Biopsy - What it is

What is a Stereotactic Biopsy?

Stereotactic Biopsy uses a computer to analyse information from mammograms. The computer then determines exactly where in the abnormal area to place the needle tip. A small incision is then made in the skin of the breast. and a biopsy needle is guided by the computer to the biopsy site to take a tissue sample. Tissue specimens taken will be sent to the laboratory for microscopic examination.

This procedure is often used to biopsy microcalcifications (calcium deposits).

What to expect during the examination?

During the procedure, you will either lie on your side or sit upright on a chair. The area that needs to be tested is centered in the window of a specially designed compression paddle.

After administering a local anaesthetic, the radiologist makes a small incision on the skin. A sterile biopsy needle is placed into the abnormal breast tissue. Computerised pictures help confirm the exact needle placement using digital imaging. Every effort will be taken to minimise any discomfort.

Tissue samples are taken through the needle. It is common for the radiologist to take multiple tissue samples.

How should I prepare myself for the procedure?
  • There is no need for you to fast before the procedure.
  • Please inform the doctor and breast imaging unit staff if you are taklng aspirin, ibuprofen or any blood thinning medication.
  • Do not apply talcum powder or body lotion on the day of procedure.
  • Wear a two-piece outfit.

How long is the procedure?

The examination may take up to an hour.

After the procedure
  • You may experience minimal discomfort.
  • A small dressing will be applied to the wound after the procedure. Change the dressing when necessary. After three to four days, you may remove it at home. If a pressure bandage is applied, remove it the next morning.
  • Small amounts of blood on the dressing and discoloration at the biopsy site are normal. The amount of bleeding may vary for different patients.
  • The bruising on your skin may persist up to four weeks. Please do not be alarmed as the bruising from the biopsy will gradually fade over time.
  • To minimise the risk of bleeding, please have a responsible adult to accompany you home.
  • Avoid taking crowded public transport.

If your wound starts to bleed at home, apply firm compression on your wound for about 10 to 15 minutes. If the bleeding continues, please consult your doctor immediately. You may visit the KK Breast Imaging Unit during office hours (8.30am to 5.30pm) or the O&G (24-hour) Clinic after office hours. Please inform the attending doctor that you had a breast biopsy done earlier in the day.

  • If there is discomfort at the biopsy site, you may apply an ice pack to the area. To avoid thermal injury to the skin, you should not leave the ice pack for longer than 10 minutes at any one time.
  • If the pain is severe, take the pain medicine according to the doctor's instructions (stop if you have allergic reaction to the medicine and consult the doctor).
  • Avoid strenuous activities (e.g. swimming, aerobics) for the first three to four days after the biopsy. Excessive activity may dislodge the blood clot and make the wound bleed.
  • Avoid wetting the biopsy area while in the shower.

Please attend your scheduled appointment for your post-biopsy consultation after the procedure.

Radiation dose

The radiation dose you will receive is very small. As such, there are no side effects from the radiation.

Will I need to be admitted?

The examination usually does not require hospital admission. It can be performed on an outpatient basis.

If you are admitted to the hospital on the appointment day, please inform the ward staff to contact the KK Breast Imaging Unit.

Important points to note:
  1. If you are or suspect that you are pregnant, please inform the doctor or the radiographer.

  2. To minimise discomfort to you, the Stereotactic Biopsy should preferably NOT be performed within the week prior to the onset of your menstrual cycle.

    If your appointment falls within this period, please contact KK Breast Imaging Unit for a change of appointment date.

    You may have to adjust your follow-up appointment with the referring Specialist Clinic.

  3. Please bring along your previous mammograms or ultrasound scans for your appointment.

  4. Please do not carry any valuables, jewellery or excessive cash with you during your appointment.

  5. If you have any questions or concerns, please call 6394-8058 during office hours (8.30am to 5.30pm).

Stereotactic Biopsy - Symptoms

Stereotactic Biopsy - How to prevent?

Stereotactic Biopsy - Causes and Risk Factors

Stereotactic Biopsy - Diagnosis

Stereotactic Biopsy - Treatments

Stereotactic Biopsy - Preparing for surgery

Stereotactic Biopsy - Post-surgery care

Stereotactic Biopsy - Other Information

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