Ultrasound Guided Biopsy

Ultrasound is an excellent way to evaluate breast abnormalities detected by mammography. In some cases it is not possible to tell from the imaging studies alone whether a growth is benign or cancerous. That is why ultrasound-guided breast biopsy is so effective. It is a highly accurate way to evaluate suspicious masses within the breast that are visible on ultrasound, whether or not they can be felt on breast self-examination or clinical examination. The procedure prevents the need to remove tissue surgically, and also eliminates the radiation exposure that comes from using x-rays to locate a mass.

The Exam

Ultrasound-guided biopsy is most useful when there are suspicious changes on the mammogram that can also be seen on an ultrasound exam. After placing an ultrasound probe over the area of concern and after using local anesthesia, a very small nick is made in the skin at the site where the biopsy needle is  inserted. Then the radiologist guides a biopsy needle directly into the mass.

The radiologist, constantly monitoring the lesion site with the ultrasound probe, guides a biopsy needle or the vacuum assisted needle directly into the mass and obtains specimens. Usually at least three to five samples are taken using the core biopsy method.