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What is an ultrasound guided mammotome biopsy?
Ultrasound works by sending high-frequency sound waves into the breast. The pattern of echoes from these sound waves is converted into an image, called a sonogram, of the breast's interior. The ultrasound is used to identify the abnormal area in the breast for biopsy. A biopsy is a procedure done to remove tissue for examination by a pathologist.

How is the procedure performed?
During the procedure you will lie on your back on an examination table. The biopsy is performed with local anesthesia and requires only a small skin nick. Ultrasound guidance will be used to locate the area of concern within the breast. This procedure requires a single insertion of a small probe, through the small incision. With a gentle vacuum, the biopsy device draws tissue into the hollow chamber of the probe, allowing several samples to be acquired without removing the probe from the breast. As each piece of tissue is obtained, you may feel slight pressure and will hear a soft whirring sound caused by the vacuum assistance. A small 3mm stainless steel clip may be placed in the biopsy site to mark the area. This clip is MRI compatible and will not cause irritation to the tissue. After the biopsy, the technologist or medical assistant will apply pressure over the incision site for at least 10 minutes to minimize bleeding and bruising. No stitches are needed to close the incision. Adhesive strips and a sterile dressing will then be applied.

What to I need to do after the biopsy?
You will be given a list of instructions to follow regarding the dressing and your activity after the biopsy. If you have a job that does not require strenuous activity or heavy lifting, you can go to work the day of the biopsy.

When will I get the results?
After the biopsy, your tissue samples will be sent to the pathology department for testing. The results will be available 1 working day after the procedure. The doctor performing the procedure usually calls you with the results. However, if you prefer to return to the clinic to receive your results, this can be arranged.

This article was provided to 9NEWS by Breast Care Center at St. Joseph Hospital.