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Ultrasound-guided breast biopsy utilizes ultrasound in order to precisely biopsy a suspicious mass visible at ultrasound. Typically, suspicious microcalcifications are biopsied using stereotactic guidance, while masses are biopsied using ultrasound-guidance. The radiologist may choose to use a skinny needle, core needle or vacuum-assisted biopsy device.


When biopsying suspicious masses, we typically use the Mammotome™ vacuum-assisted needle. This has been shown to be the most sensitive and specific method to perform ultrasound-guided biopsy, minimizing the risk of a nondiagnostic biopsy or sampling error.


Minimally invasive biopsy is preferred to open surgical biopsy. Your physician however may choose to perform a surgical biopsy, particularly if the lesion lies too close to the skin or chest wall, or simply cannot be adequately defined at ultrasound. Additionally, better cosmetic results may be possible with an excision of a likely benign lesion such as a fibroadenoma.


Although Ultrasound-guided biopsies and drainages are minimally invasive, there is a risk of bleeding whenever the skin is penetrated.

For this reason, if you are taking aspirin or a blood thinner medications, your physician may advise you to stop five days before the procedure.

If you have any question please call US department at 713 589 3461


The technologist will take a careful history. If there is a history of a bleeding diathesis, please notify the technologist. Any allergy to lidocaine should also be presented to the technologist in order that an alternate medication be used.

Typically no sedation is necessary for this exam. If you feel a need for sedation, please discuss this with the technologist prior to the day of your biopsy.

You will be positioned on the ultrasound table and the radiologist will perform an ultrasound of the breast. The radiologist will cleanse the skin with betadine and inject lidocaine into the skin and deeper tissues. A small skin nick will be made and the Mammotome™ or core needle advanced into the breast. Needle position will be confirmed at ultrasound and several biopsies performed. Please speak up if there is any discomfort.

Immediately after the biopsy, a radiopaque marker will be deployed at the biopsy site; this will confirm the location of the biopsy and assist the surgeon should a lumpectomy later be required.

Post-biopsy specimen radiograph and mammography may be performed to document the procedure.

The needle will be removed and compression applied to the breast. You will be given an ice pack to be used for four hours after the biopsy.

The final pathologic results are typically available within 2-3 days. A report will be delivered to your physician, typically within 24 hours of receiving the biopsy results.

A technologist will contact you after your procedure; please let her know if you have had any problems or complications.