Breast biopsy is a procedure in which a small sample of breast tissue containing suspicious breast growth is removed and examined in the laboratory for the presence of cancer. Needle-localized breast biopsy involves the surgical removal of the entire mass of abnormal tissue for analysis. It is indicated when abnormal findings are seen during mammography but cannot be felt on physical examination.
Needle-localized breast biopsy is performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia and sedation. With the guidance of mammography or ultrasound, your doctor inserts a needle into the abnormal area. The needle is removed, leaving behind a thin flexible wire which acts as a guide for your surgeon. The wire is held in place with a dressing. Your surgeon makes a small incision to remove the abnormal tissue along with the wire. The tissue is then sent to the laboratory for analysis. The incision is closed and covered with a sterile dressing.
As with any surgery, needle-localized breast biopsy may involve certain risks and complications including scarring, altered breast appearance, infection, poor healing, bleeding and risk of re-excision may be needed for clear margins.