Ultrasound-Guided Vacuum-Assisted Core Biopsy

An ultrasound-guided biopsy may be recommended if your mammogram or ultrasound exam shows an area of concern. Northside Hospital radiologists use ultrasound to guide them while taking small samples of tissue from the area of concern.

Some common reasons for this procedure are:

  • A suspicious solid mass
  • A distortion in the structure of the breast tissue
  • An area of abnormal tissue change

How Should I Prepare for the Procedure?

An ultrasound-guided breast biopsy is minimally invasive. Whenever the skin is penetrated, there is a risk of bleeding. For this reason, if you are taking aspirin or a blood thinner, your physician may advise you to stop before the procedure. You may want to have a relative or friend come with you for support or drive you home afterward.

What Can I Expect?

Prior to the procedure, a nurse will meet with you to complete an assessment, explain the procedure and provide the appropriate paperwork. The radiologist then meets with you to answer any questions and sign consent forms for the procedure.

This procedure is performed using ultrasound guidance with you lying on your back on a padded table. Warm gel is placed on your breast as the technologist scans to locate the area of concern.

The radiologist will then clean the area with an antiseptic and inject local anesthetic into your breast to numb it. The radiologist will make a small cut in the skin, insert the biopsy needle and take small samples of the tissue from the area of concern. The radiologist will then place a small clip (tissue marker) in the breast to mark the place where the tissue was removed. The clip is safe and cannot be felt in the breast. It will not move. It does not affect MRI and will not set off alarms at the airport.

After the clip is placed, the breast will be placed in compression for approximately 10 minutes to stop any bleeding. The nurse will then place small steristrips (like tape) over the incision. No stitches are needed.

Schedule An Appointment

To schedule an appointment at one of the Northside Hospital Gwinnett or Duluth locations, call 678-312-3444.

To schedule an appointment at a Northside Hospital Atlanta, Forsyth or Cherokee location, call 404-851-6577.