Upright Stereotactic Core Needle Breast Biopsy
Based on the results of your last
mammogram, the doctor (radiologist) has
recommended a stereotactic core needle
biopsy. The doctor removes small samples
of tissue from the breast using a needle. The
doctor guides the needle to the correct place
using mammogram images.
Before the Biopsy
A Breast Center nurse will review all
prescribed and over-the-counter medicines.
You may need to stop blood thinners before
the biopsy. The nurse will discuss this with
You may take Tylenol® as needed during
this time (if you do not have liver disease).
A nurse will review all allergies. This
includes all medicines, latex, metal, and
You will be awake for the biopsy. If you
would like a relaxant to calm you before the
biopsy, please contact your primary doctor
for this. This must be arranged in advance.
The Breast Center does not provide these
medicines. If you decide to take a relaxant,
you must have someone drive you home
after the biopsy. You should not drive or
make important decisions until the next day.
You do not need to fast before the biopsy. If
you are diabetic, follow your regular
diabetic care regimen
Wear a two-piece outfit. You will be asked
to undress from the waist up.
Do not wear talcum powder, lotions or
deodorant on the breast and underarm area.
Plan on being at the Breast Center for about
During the Biopsy
You will sit in a special chair that can be
positioned at different angles to allow access
to the area of your breast to be biopsied.
Your breast will be held in place by
compression with paddles, like when you
have a mammogram. Mammograms will be
taken. This will help to locate the correct
site for biopsy. During these mammograms
staff will step away behind a shield. You
will be asked to hold your breath and be as
still as you can.
The doctor will inject a numbing medicine
(Lidocaine) into your breast. You may feel a
sting. Our goal is that you not feel any pain
after this is given. You may feel pressure
during the procedure. If you do feel pain, let
the staff know.
Once your breast is numb, a small nick will
be made in the skin of your breast in order to
place the needle. You may feel pressure as
this needle is placed, but should not feel any
You will hear a whirring sound from the
biopsy machine as samples are being taken.
The samples will be sent to pathology.
After the biopsy, a small marker is placed in
the breast to mark the biopsy site. If a future
surgery is needed, this will help guide the
doctor to the area to be removed. If no
surgery is needed the clip will stay in place.
It will be seen on future mammograms.
There are no known risks with having the
marker. You do not need to worry about
metal detectors or MRI procedures. The
titanium marker is not affected by this type
The needle will be removed from your
breast. There may be slight bleeding. We
will apply pressure until it stops. The site
will be covered with thin strips of tape
(Steri-strips), and a cold pack. You will be
asked to sit for 10-15 minutes to make sure
there are no problems with the site.
You will have a final mammogram to look
at the location of the marker.
Care after the biopsy
After the biopsy you will be assessed for any
bleeding. A protective bandage is placed
over the biopsy site.
Your pathology results will be done in 3-4
working days. Your doctor’s office or the
Breast Center staff will call you with your
For the first 24 hours, avoid forceful arm
movements and do not lift more than 10
pounds. You may return to work and most
activities the next day.
Apply ice to the biopsy area for 20-30
minutes at least 3 times the day of the
biopsy. After that day, use ice as needed.
This will help to reduce swelling and pain.
Do not place ice directly on the skin.
Remove the protective bandage the next
day. The Steri-Strips will loosen and come
off on their own in about 7 days. If they are
still in place after 7 days you may gently
We suggest you wear a supportive bra to
minimize breast movement. A sports bra
You may shower the next day. Pat the
biopsy site area dry. Do not soak in a tub or
pool for 48 hours.
You may have some mild discomfort and
bruising. This should go away in about a
week. You may use Tylenol for this pain.
Take as directed. You may take Ibuprofen as
needed 24 hours after the biopsy as long as
there is no sign of bleeding.
Monitor for any signs of infection:
ξ Temperature over 100.4°F
ξ Significant swelling, firmness or
ξ Increased redness
ξ Drainage around the site that is pus-
Please call if you have bleeding that soaks
the bandage or that is flowing from the site.
Hold firm pressure to the site if this occurs.
It is normal to have a small amount of blood
(dime to quarter size) show through on the
If you have questions or concerns about
your care, please call the following numbers.
Normal working hours are Monday through
Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
UW Health Breast Center at the University
Normal working hours: 608-266-6400
After hours and weekends, call (608) 262-
2122. This will give you the paging
operator. Ask to speak to the radiologist on
call. Give the operator your name and
phone number with the area code. The
doctor will call you back.
UW Health Breast Center at 1 S Park Street:
Normal working hours: 608-287-2933
After hours and weekend, call 608-417-
6000. Ask to speak with the radiologist on
call at Meriter/Unity Point Hospital.
For medical emergencies, call 911.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 10/2017 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7933