MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) Core Breast Biopsy
Based on the results of your last MRI, the radiologist has recommended a core breast biopsy.
This method is used when the area of concern is best seen, or only seen, using MRI. It can be
done through a small incision without using stitches. Using a hollow core needle, the doctor
removes small tissue samples from a specific part of the breast. The doctor guides the needle to
the correct spot using MRI.
Why perform MRI core biopsy?
This biopsy removes just enough tissue to
make a diagnosis. It may help to avoid a
more extensive surgery.
Before the Procedure
A Breast Center nurse will review all your
medicine, both prescribed and over-the-
You will need to stop any blood thinners 5
days before the biopsy. These include:
Aspirin (Ecotrin®, Excedrin®, Alka-Seltzer®,
Anacin®, etc.), Ibuprofen ,
Motrin • Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory
Drugs (Advil®, Etodolac, Indomethacin,
Diclofenac , Naproxen, Naprosyn ,
Nuprin Aleve ® (Voltaren) Nambumetone
Vitamin E, Omega 3 Oils such as Fish or
Flaxseed; Ginger, Ginkgo Biloba, Ginseng,
and all herbal medicines or teas
Enoxaparin (Lovenox) or Clopidogrel
(Plavix )• Warfarin or Coumadin We will
work with your doctor to stop these.
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, the Breast
Center nurse will contact your primary
doctor for a prescription. This must be
arranged in advance as the MRI department
does not provide these medications.
If you decide to take a relaxant, you must
have someone drive you home after the
biopsy. Do not drive or make important
personal or business decisions until the next
The day of the Procedure
It is recommended, but not required, that
you not eat anything 2 hours before your
If you tolerated your first MRI without
nausea or vomiting, it is recommended that
you eat a light meal prior to the biopsy.
If you are diabetic or otherwise may need to
eat, please call MRI Scheduling at
(608)263- 5655 prior to your procedure to
Wear comfortable clothing. A two-piece
outfit is best.
Do not wear talcum powder or deodorant.
It is best if a friend or family member comes
Plan on being in the MRI area for about 2
After MRI, you will then go to the Breast
Center for a mammogram follow-up. You
should plan on being in the Breast Center for
During the Procedure
You will dress in a gown and have an IV
placed before the MRI.
You will lie face down on the table on a
Your breast will be held in place with slight
You will be placed feet first into the MRI
scanner. A dye (contrast) will be given into
an IV during the scan. You may feel
coolness at the IV site and in the arm.
You will be brought out of the
MRI tube and the doctor will start
the biopsy. A numbing
medication (Lidocaine) will be
put into your breast. You will feel
a sting but the medication numbs
quickly and this will go away.
You may feel pressure during the
procedure. If you feel pain, let
the staff know so they can help
minimize any discomfort.
Once your breast is numb, a
plastic catheter will be placed into
your breast. You will be placed in
the scanner again to check the
positioning of the plastic catheter. You will
again be brought out of the MRI scanner and
a needle will be placed where the plastic
You will hear a buzzing noise from the
biopsy machine. Several cores of tissue are
taken. The samples will be sent to
pathology. You will then be scanned one
last time after the biopsy, so the doctor can
view the final biopsy site.
After the biopsy, a small titanium marker
will be placed in the breast. It will be seen
on future images. You do not need to worry
about metal detectors or future MRI
procedures, as titanium is not affected by
this type of equipment.
The needle will be removed from your
breast. There may be slight bleeding.
Pressure will be applied until it stops. The
site will be covered with thin strip of tape
(Steri-strips). A cold pack will be placed on
A final mammogram in the Breast Center
will be performed to check for marker
placement and assure the biopsy went as
Care after the Biopsy
You will meet with a nurse in the Breast
Center after the biopsy and mammogram.
The nurse will assess the biopsy site for any
bleeding and place a protective bandage
over the biopsy site.
Your pathology results will be available in
3-4 working days. Your doctor’s office or
the Breast Center staff will call you with
For the first 24 hours avoid vigorous arm
movements and heavy lifting (more than
10 pounds). If you wish, 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 and then 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
It is recommended you wear a comfortable
supportive bra to minimize breast
movement. A sports bra works best.
You may shower the next day allowing
water to run over the biopsy site. Pat this
area dry. Do not soak in a tub or pool for 48
You may have some mild discomfort and
bruising. This should go away in about a
week. If you need something for
discomfort, Tylenol® will often manage this
pain. Take as directed. You may take
Ibuprofen as needed 24 hours after the
biopsy and if there are no signs of bleeding.
Monitor for any signs of infection
ξ temperature over 100.4°F
ξ significant swelling
ξ firmness or warmth
ξ increased redness or drainage around
the site that is pus-like.
Call the Breast Center with any concerns.
Please call if you are having heavy bleeding
from the biopsy site (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, please
The Breast Center (608) 266-6400.
Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00
MRI scheduling at (608) 263-323-8942 if
you need to reschedule.
After hours and weekends, call
(608) 262-0486. 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. For medical
emergencies, call 911.
If you live out of the area, call
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 © 7/2017. University of
Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6009