Image Guided Excisional Breast Biopsy

                                   Orhan Konez, MD                                   

Longview Radiologists

What is a breast biopsy?

A breast biopsy involves the removal of tissue from the suspicious area of your breast. The tissue is removed by a surgeon (excisional biopsy) or Interventional  Radiologist (Image-Guided Needle Biopsy) and sent to a laboratory for analysis by a pathologist. 

80-90% of breast biopsy results come back 'benign', which means no cancer was detected. Still, it is essential that you have this biopsy - it's the only way to remove the uncertainty and get an accurate diagnosis.

What is an Intact Breast Biopsy?

This procedure is generally performed under local anesthesia, causing minimal trauma to the patient's breast. It is a quick procedure, done under ultrasound or sterotactic guidance, where a small device gently glides through the breast tissue to the suspicious area or lesion. The suspicious area or lesion is surrounded by a "capture basket", and the suspicious tissue is removed in one pass. The tissue is then sent to the laboratory for a diagnosis by a pathologist.

Video Clips

Procedure Video   Device Video   Ultrasound Guided Biopsy Video



Prior to the biopsy

  • The procedure is performed as an outpatient procedure

  • Please wear loose-fitting clothing on the day of the procedure 

  • Consult with your physician about any medicines (e.g., Coumadin, Aspirin, Plavix) you are taking which can prevent clotting

What to expect during the biopsy

  • The longest portion of the procedure is the preparation. The actual biopsy  - removal of the suspicious tissue or lesion - takes less than 10 seconds.  

  • You will have a cold pad on your back, which is necessary for the Intact system to function

  • During the procedure, you may feel pressure, tingling, or a 'pinch' in your breast. Plenty of anesthetic is used to keep the you comfortable

  • You may also notice an unusual smell during the the biopsy. This smell is a normal part of the procedure

  • You will hear various sounds during the procedure. The machine will beep and you will hear something that sounds like a hair dryer while the tissue is being removed

  • A tiny marker (visible under X-ray and Ultrasound) is placed into the biopsy site at the end of the procedure

What to expect after the procedure

  • The small incision is generally covered with a steri-strip bandage  

  • After the procedure is completed, you will be given post-biopsy care instructions  

  • You may experience some slight swelling, bruising and discharge, which is normal. Any discomfort should disappear in 1-2 days. If it persists, call your doctor  

  • Consult with your doctor if you have a fever, or significant bleeding, or redness at the biopsy site  

  • The report from the pathologist will be sent to your doctor in a few days. Your doctor will call to schedule time to discuss the results with you

Advantages of the Intact BLES technique:

Significantly improved sampling accuracy: The needle is easily visible under real-time ultrasound and the system captures significantly larger size tissue than typical core or suction biopsy needles; therefore, false negative results should be significantly less. 

Less complications:  Because of the Radio Frequency technology used to advance the needle and also the capture the suspicious tissue, bleeding is less of a concern than that of typical needle biopsies. Also, capturing the suspicious lesion with the BLES technique is a slow process and can be seen (real time) under ultrasound; because there is no fast motion of the needle tip complications such as needle penetration into the chest wall or other normal tissues are a less likely possibility.

A marker at the biopsy site can be placed more reliably: The BLES system creates a small cavity at the biopsy site; therefore, placement of a marker is a much easier process and more importantly can be done more accurately.

Potential theoretical risk of disturbing the potential cancer tissue is unlikely: Since the BLES technique captures the tissue rather than directly penetrating the tissue, the potential cancer tissue (at least large portion of it) is removed without much disturbance in the area.




Note: Source:

Address: St. John West Shore and St. Vincent Charity Hospitals, Department of Radiology, 29000 Center Ridge Road, Westlake, Ohio 44145, Tel: (440) 827-5046



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