Stereotactic Core Needle Breast Biopsy
Based on the results of your last
mammogram, a doctor (radiologist) has
advised a stereotactic core needle breast
biopsy. Breast tissue samples are removed
with a small needle. A special
mammography machine guides the needle to
the location of concern.
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
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. 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.
We suggest you eat a light meal since you
will be lying on your stomach. If you are
diabetic, follow your regular diabetic care
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 lie face down on a special table.
The table will be raised so the doctor can
work from under it. Your breast will be
placed through a round opening in the table.
Your breast will be held in place by
compression with paddles, like when you
have a mammogram.
Staff will stand near you for guidance and
Mammograms will be taken from beneath
the table. 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 as still as you can
Your breast will be numbed with Lidocaine.
You may feel a sting. You should not feel
any pain after this is given. If you do feel
pain, let the staff know.
Once your breast is numb, a needle is placed
in your breast. You may feel pressure as this
needle is placed. You 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 titanium clip is
placed in the breast. This will mark the
biopsy site. If 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 is no known risk with
having a clip. You do not need to worry
about metal detectors or MRI tests. Titanium
does not affect this equipment.
The needle is removed from your breast.
There may be slight bleeding. Pressure is
applied until it stops. The site is covered
with thin strips of tape (Steri-strips). A cold
pack is applied. You will be asked to sit for
10-15 minutes to make sure there are no
problems with the site.
A final mammogram is done to check the
clip position and check the biopsy site.
Care after the biopsy
After the biopsy, you are assessed for any
bleeding. A bandage is placed over the
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 forceful arm
movements. 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 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 remove
We suggest you wear a supportive bra to
restrict breast movement. A sports bra
You may shower the next day allowing
water to run over the biopsy site. Pat the
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. You may use Tylenol for this pain.
Take as directed. You may take ibuprofen as
needed 24 hours after the biopsy if there is
no sign of bleeding.
Watch for signs of infection:
ξ Temperature over 100.4°F.
ξ Severe swelling, firmness or
ξ Increased redness
ξ Pus-like drainage around the site.
Please call if you are having 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 bandage.
If you have questions or concerns, please
call the following numbers. Normal working
hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 am
to 4:30 pm.
For medical emergencies, call 911
UW Health Breast Center at 1 S Park Street.
Normal working hours: 608-287-2933
After hours and weekends, call (608) 417-
6000. Ask to speak to the radiologist on call
at Meriter/Unity Point Hospital.
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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#5707