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Stereotactic Core Needle Biopsy

Stereotactic core needle biopsy:

This type of core needle biopsy uses mammograms to pinpoint the suspicious area within the breast. For this procedure, you generally lie face down on a padded biopsy table with one of your breasts positioned in a hole in the table, or you may have the procedure in a seated position. You may need to remain in this position for up to 30 minutes. If you are lying down, the table will be raised several feet, and the equipment used by the radiologist is positioned beneath the table. Your breast is compressed between two plates while mammograms are taken to show the radiologist the exact location of the area for biopsy. After providing local anesthesia, the radiologist then makes a small incision of less than 1/4-inch long (about 5 millimeters) into your breast. He or she then inserts either a needle or a vacuum-powered probe and removes several samples of tissue. Sampling takes only one to 2 minutes. The samples are then sent to a lab for analysis.

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.