PRP's Stereotactic Breast Biopsy Service Information

A procedure to take a sample from a lesion in the breast using mammographic guidance.

Please advise us beforehand

We need to know if you are taking any medicine to prevent blood clotting (“thin the blood”), as it may be necessary to temporarily stop this medication for the procedure. This decision is made by the radiologist, possibly in consultation with your other doctors.

We may need to see your previous breast imaging, if it was not done by PRP, prior to confirming your appointment. You will also need to bring it on the day of the biopsy.


No preparation

What happens during the procedure

You will change into a gown. Our staff will position you for the biopsy in a special chair, either sitting or lying down. The biopsy is performed using a special mammogram machine, similar to the one used when the abnormality was first found. After cleaning the skin with antiseptic and injecting local anaesthetic, a special needle is used to take multiple samples. The samples themselves are X-rayed with the mammogram machine to confirm that we have obtained enough of the right tissue. It might then be necessary to take additional samples. Once we have enough, the radiologist will usually insert into the breast a small marker clip which will indicate on future mammograms where the sample came from. This can stay in place permanently if necessary, but may also be used as a “roadmap” if surgery is later required.

A standard 2-view mammogram of the biopsied breast is then taken to show the clip location.

The samples are sent to pathology, and a dressing placed on the skin puncture. The puncture is about 3mm in diameter. You will be given instructions about looking after this.

How long does it take?

Approx 20 minutes

Your Images and Report

After your examination, the most pertinent images from your study will be available on the myPRP patient portal. A report, along with the images will be sent directly to your referring doctor. PRP will store digital copies of all studies on our secure database for comparison with any future examinations.

Please bring any previous X-rays with you.

It is important that you return to your doctor with your examination results. Whether they are normal or abnormal, your doctor needs to know promptly so that a management plan can be formulated.