Ultrasound Guided Breast Biopsy

Find your care

We offer the full breadth of services to screen for and diagnose breast cancer. To learn more about breast imaging services, call 310-301-6800.

Ultrasound Guided Breast Biopsy is considered a minimally invasive alternative to surgical biopsy to evaluate suspicious masses within the breast that are visible on ultrasound. It is completed on an outpatient basis with minimal discomfort and recovery time. You will be awake throughout the procedure. Biopsies are the only definitive way to confirm that a breast abnormality is benign (non-cancerous) or cancerous.

What to Expect

  • The procedure takes up to 2 hours; however, most of this time is for preparation and setup.
  • You will lie on your back on the ultrasound procedure table. The table will be adjusted so the radiologist can work comfortably.
  • The radiologist performing the procedure will have studied your mammogram and ultrasound to become familiar with the location of the abnormal tissue in your breast.
  • A confirming ultrasound is taken with you lying in the correct position for the most direct access to the lesion.
  • The skin on your breast will be cleaned; then a local anesthetic is injected with very fine needle. You may feel a slight sting.
  • A small nick is made in your skin and a thin, hollow needle is inserted through the nick. Because of the local anesthetic, most patients report only a small amount of presure during the biopsy.
  • The radiologist will use ultrasound to precisely guide the needle to the lesion where several small samples will be taken. Ultrasound provides real-time visualization of the needle placement.
  • When the radiologist has confirmed that adequate samples have been retrieved, a microclip will be deployed into the biopsy site. This microclip will mark the biopsy site for future reference.
  • After the needle is removed, compression will be applied to stop any bleeding and the site will be covered with sterile steri-stripes. This procedure requires no stitches. An ice pack will also be applied.

After the Procedure

  • Before leaving the department, you'll be given instructions for biopsy aftercare that are specific to your individual needs. Your breast should heal quickly, leaving almost no sign of the procedure.
  • If you have not been contacted with your results within 4 days, please contact the physician who ordered the biopsy for results.

It is important to remember that 70% to 80% of all breast biopsies are benign (not cancer).