Scheduling a Biopsy
If your doctor or radiologist recommends that a biopsy be performed, your physician will send an order to the Breast Center. A nurse from the Breast Center will contact you to schedule your biopsy and provide a pre-procedure phone consultation, which will include specific instructions for what to do before and after the procedure.
If you have any questions or concerns about the procedure, please call the Methodist Breast Center at 713.441.PINK.
In a biopsy, a doctor takes a sample of tissue for analysis. This analysis can identify the reasons for an abnormality and can often provide the doctor with the information needed to plan any necessary treatment.
Whenever possible, The Methodist Breast Center uses minimally invasive techniques to collect tissue for biopsy. Often, this means that the sample is collected using what is called a core needle — a fine needle that is used to extract a tiny sample of the suspect tissue. The procedure requires only local anesthetic, and patients can usually return to full activity within 24 hours.
In an ultrasound biopsy, an ultrasound view of the inside of the breast is employed to help guide the needle to the site of the suspect tissue. Your doctor might recommend ultrasound biopsy if the lesion is too small to be felt; the ultrasound image helps to make sure that the tissue sample is drawn from the right location.
In stereotactic biopsy, the doctor uses a mammogram (x-ray) view of the breast to precisely locate suspect areas within the breast and guide a core biopsy needle to the site. The procedure allows a high degree of accuracy, and it can be used to collect a tissue sample from even very small areas within the breast — areas that might only be detectable through the mammogram image. The procedure is performed with a local anesthetic and usually takes between 30 minutes and one hour.
In an MRI-guided biopsy, an MRI scan of the breast is used to locate suspect tissue within the breast and guide a fine biopsy needle to the site for the collection of tissue samples. An MRI-guided biopsy might be used to collect a tissue sample if the area of concern is very tiny (perhaps too small to be located with a mammogram) or in cases in which the patient's breast tissue is very dense.