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Mammography-Guided Biopsy


Scheduling and Directions

DeKalb Medical performs mammography-guided biopsy or stereotactic needle biopsy when abnormalities that can’t be felt (nonpalpable) are identified by a mammogram. The abnormality is generally located on a routine screening mammogram. Mammography-guided biopsies use large (core) or small (fine) needles to obtain samples of the abnormal breast tissue. The physician uses a mammogram image from several different angles to create a virtual three-dimensional (stereotactic) picture of the abnormal area. This picture is used to guide the needle to the biopsy site where the mammography-guided biopsy takes place.

Mammography-guided biopsy of the breast is performed when a mammogram shows a breast abnormality such as:

  • A suspicious solid mass
  • Microcalcifications, a tiny cluster of small calcium deposits
  • A distortion in the structure of the breast tissue
  • An area of abnormal tissue change
  • A new mass or area of calcium deposits is present at a previous surgery site

Preparing for Mammography-Guided Biopsies

DeKalb Medical performs mammography-guided or stereotactic needle biopsy when abnormalities that can’t be felt (non-palable) are identified by a mammogram. General anesthesia is not used for mammography-guided biopsies. Usually the physician will inject a local anesthetic at the needle insertion site to numb the area. You will feel a stinging sensation when this is done. The physician will wait until the area is numb before proceeding with the biopsy.

Your physician will use special imaging techniques to be able to see the abnormal spot.You will lie face down on a table with your breast suspended through an opening. Mammograms then are taken of the suspicious site. A computer is used to guide the needle to the site for sample removal. At this point, you should only feel a pressure sensation as the needle is guided to the biopsy site.

If the abnormality can be seen easily on ultrasound, the biopsy may be performed while you lie on your back and ultrasound imaging is used to see the abnormality.

After Your Mammography-Guided Biopsy

After the biopsy, you may experience pain or discomfort at the site and you may have mild bruising at the site. Because of this, your physician may suggest limiting your activities for 24 to 48 hours after your biopsy.

The samples are examined in the laboratory by a pathologist to determine if cancer cells are present. A detailed report from the lab will be sent to your physician, who will share the results with you.

Scheduling and Directions

DeKalb Medical offers mammography-guided biopsy in Atlanta at the Diagnostic Breast Center at DeKalb Medical at North Decatur.

Your physician will contact DeKalb Medical to schedule your mammography-guided biopsy.

Your mammography-guided biopsy will be performed at the Diagnostic Breast Center, which is in the 2665 Professional Building on the North Decatur Road campus.

  • From North Decatur Road, enter the hospital campus via Wash Lively Road.
  • At road end, turn right.
  • At stop sign, turn left and park in the Visitor/Patient parking deck.
  • Use the “A” or “E” elevator or take the stairs to Level 1.
  • Cross the street and proceed to the front entrance of the 2665 Professional Building.
  • Upon entering the building you will see the Diagnostic Breast Center entrance on the left.

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