Stereotactic Breast

What is Stereotactic Technology?

Stereotaxis uses computer technology to enable healthcare provides to locate and obtain a sample of the precise center of the questionable area. It uses "stereo" x-rays, x-rays taken from multiple angles, and a special biopsy needle. This technique is rapidly replacing surgical biopsy, which necessitates an incision, the removal of a larger piece of tissue and a brief hospital out-patient admission.

What are the advantages of undergoing a stereotactic biopsy?

Unlike the more invasive surgical procedure, there is...

  • No external scarring of the breast,and no internal scar to interfere with future mammogram readings.
  • No lengthy wait for test results. Your healthcare provider can tell you when to expect yours.
  • No exposure to general anesthesia.
  • No prolonged recovery time.
What to expect: during the procedure?

When you arrive, you will be escorted to a specially equipped procedure room. It is best to wear a blouse and slacks or a skirt, since you will need to remove the clothing above your waist. A specially trained person will help you to change and position you comfortably on your abdomen on a specially designed examination table. Your breast will be placed through an opening in the table. Next, several x-ray films will be taken in order to locate the area in question. Once this is done, the Healthcare provicer will review the films and use a computer to locate the exact area to be sampled. Next, your breast will be compressed, as is done during a mammogram and the Healthcare provider will administer a local anesthestic using a very slender needle. You will feel a tiny pinch similar to a pin prick. When the medicine has numbed the area, the healthcare provider will insert a biopsy needle and take additional x-rays to ensure its proper placement. Then, several samples of tissue will be extracted for analysis.

The procedure takes approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Exam time is approximately 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. Avoid any strenuous activity for 24 hours following the procedure. However, there may be some mild discomfort.

You can eat and drink normally and continue all medications except aspirin*. Inflammatory medications (Motrin, ibuprofen, Advil, etc) or blood thinners (coumadin, heparin, etc).

*Note: Aspirin should not be taken 5 to 7 days prior to the procedure, and inflammatory medication and blood thinners.

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