Patients, your care and safety are our top priorities! We encourage you to follow CDC guidelines to self- quarantine if you are experiencing symptoms
consistent with COVID-19. Please do not hesitate to call us to assess whether to reschedule your appointment. Please call 716-631-2500 .

MRI-Guided Core Needle Biopsy

MRI-guided core needle biopsy: This type of core needle biopsy is done with MRI guidance — an imaging technique that captures multiple cross-sectional images of your breast. During this procedure, you lie face down on a padded scanning table. Your breasts fit into a hollow depression in the table. Your breast will be mildly compressed. This test does require intravenous contrast administration (contrast material given through your vein).

The MRI machine provides images that help determine the exact location for the biopsy. Following the administration of local anesthesia, a small incision less than 1/4-inch long (about 5 millimeters) is made to allow the core needle to be inserted. Several samples of tissue are taken and sent to a lab for analysis. Sampling takes a few minutes. The overall exam table time ranges from 25-45 minutes.

At the time of the breast biopsy procedures noted above, a small titanium marker or clip may be placed in your breast at the biopsy site. This is done so that if your biopsy shows cancer cells or precancerous cells, your doctor or surgeon can locate the biopsied area and remove more of the surrounding breast tissue surgically (known as the surgical or excisional biopsy). If the core needle biopsy shows no concerning findings, this marker/clip allows the radiologist to closely monitor the area on future imaging studies.

If the biopsied area cannot be felt and a surgical biopsy is to be performed, your surgeon may request a needle wire-localization procedure immediately prior to your surgery. The radiologist uses a technique called wire localization to map the route to the area of concern for the surgeon. During a wire localization, the tip of a thin wire is positioned directly in the area of concern. The wires are placed with guidance provided by mammogram, ultrasound or MRI.

After a breast biopsy

After your biopsy, please do not hesitate to contact your doctor if:

  • You develop a fever
  • The biopsy site becomes red or warm
  • You have unusual drainage from the biopsy site

Any of the above symptoms can be signs of an infection that may require prompt treatment. Please contact your primary care physician or your Gynecologist immediately, if there is any sign of infection.

Having a bra on after the biopsy is helpful as you are able to place a cold pack against the biopsy site and support the breast that was biopsied.

We will send you home with bandages and an ice pack over the biopsy site. You will be able to resume normal activities within a day. Bruising is quite common after core needle biopsies. In order to ease your pain and discomfort after a breast biopsy, you may take a non-aspirin pain reliever containing acetaminophen (Tylenol) and apply a cold pack as needed to reduce swelling.


After the biopsy procedure, your breast tissue is sent to a lab, where a doctor (pathologist) examines the samples using a microscope and special procedures. It may be several days before the results of a core needle biopsy are available. The pathologist will prepare a pathology report that is sent to your doctor and you will be informed of the results, including details about the size, location, and whether cancer, noncancerous (benign) changes or precancerous cells were found.

Normal results or benign breast changes

Your radiologist may find that your imaging results suggest a more-suspicious lesion such as breast cancer or precancerous lesion, but your pathology report may reveal normal breast tissue. If this is the case, more tissue to further evaluate the area may be needed and you may be recommended to consult a breast surgeon. If your radiologist feels that the biopsy pathology results are consistent with the imaging findings, you will be advised to have follow up imaging in 6 months to closely monitor the area.

If breast cancer is present

Information about the cancer including the type of breast cancer you have and whether it is hormone receptor positive or negative will be available. If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, the Windsong Breast Care team of doctors and navigators are here to assist you. As a Nationally Accredited Breast Program of Excellence, Windsong Breast Care is held to the highest standards of care for patients with diseases of the breast – working together to provide the most efficient and contemporary breast care using scientific evidence about what works best for patientsPlease call our team at 716.626.6300 and we will help you navigate the necessary next steps. You are not alone in your battle against breast cancer.