MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) Core Breast Biopsy
For Patients from a Correctional Facility
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
Before the Procedure
Correctional facility provider will give the Breast Center nurse a list of all the patient’s prescribed and
over-the-counter medicines. You will need to stop any blood thinner 5 days before the biopsy. These
ξ Aspirin (Ecotrin®, Excedrin®, Alka-Seltzer®, Anacin®, etc.), Ibuprofen, Motrin
ξ Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (Advil®, Etodolac, Indomethacin, Diclofenac ,
Naproxen, Naprosyn , Nuprin , Aleve® (Voltaren) Nambumetone (Relafen®) etc.)
ξ Vitamin E, Omega 3 Oils such as Fish or Flaxseed; Ginger, Ginkgo Biloba, Ginseng, and
all herbal medicines or teas
ξ Enoxaparin (Lovenox®) or Clopidogrel (Plavix )
ξ 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 tape.
You will remain awake for the biopsy. If you would like a relaxant to calm you for the biopsy the nurse
will contact your primary doctor for this. This must be arranged in advance as the MRI department does
not provide these medicines.
On the day of the biopsy, it is recommended, but not required, that you not eat anything 2 hours before
your procedure. 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 let MRI
Scheduling know prior to your procedure to discuss.
Wear comfortable clothing. A two-piece outfit is best.
Do not wear talcum powder or deodorant.
Plan on being in the MRI area about 2 hours. After MRI, you will proceed to the Breast Center for
mammogram follow-up. You should plan on being in the Breast Center for 30-45 minutes.
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 slight incline. Your breast will be placed into a holder and held
in place with slight compression with a grid paddle. You will be placed feet first into the MRI scanner. A
dye (contrast) will be given into an IV during the scan. When it is given, you may feel coolness at the IV
site and in the arm.
The dye helps produce stronger,
clearer images, and highlights the
area to be biopsied.
You will be brought out of the
MRI tube so the doctor can start
the biopsy. The doctor will inject
a numbing medicine called
Lidocaine into your breast. You
will feel a sting but the medicine
numbs quickly and this will go
away. You may feel pressure
during the procedure. If you feel
pain, let the staff know so that we
can help minimize any
Once your breast is numb, a small nick will be made in your breast and a plastic catheter will be placed
into your breast. You will be placed in the scanner again and pictures will be taken to assure this plastic
catheter is in the area to be biopsied. You will again be brought out of the MRI scanner and a needle will
be placed where the plastic catheter is.
You will hear a buzzing noise from the biopsy machine as the samples are removed. 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.
There are no known risks with having the marker. 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 planned.
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.
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 remove them.
It is recommended you wear a comfortable supportive bra to minimize breast movement. A sports bra
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 hours.
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 such as a temperature over 100.4°F, significant swelling, firmness or
warmth, increased redness or drainage around the site that is pus-like. Have the Breast Center called with
Have your facility 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 bandage.
The final results of the test should be available in about 3-4 working days. Your facility provider
will give you the results.
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 © 11/2015 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by
the Department of Nursing. HF#6890