Ultrasound-Guided Breast Biopsy

Lumps or abnormalities in the breast are often detected by physical examination, mammography, or other imaging studies. However, it is not always possible to tell from these imaging tests whether a growth is benign or cancerous.

In ultrasound-guided breast biopsy, ultrasound imaging is used to help guide the radiologist's instruments to the site of the abnormal growth.

Common Uses of Image-Guided Breast Biopsy

An ultrasound-guided breast biopsy can be performed when a breast ultrasound shows an abnormality such as:

  • A suspicious solid mass
  • a distortion in the structure of the breast tissue
  • An area of abnormal tissue change

There are times when your doctor may decide that ultrasound guidance for biopsy is appropriate even for a mass that can be felt.

Ultrasound-Guided Biopsy Techniques

  • Fine needle aspiration (FNA), which uses a very small needle to extract fluid or cells from the abnormal area.
  • Core needle (CN) which uses a large hollow needle to remove one sample of breast tissue per insertion.
  • Vacuum-assisted device (VAD) which uses a vacuum powered instrument to collect multiple tissue samples during one needle insertion.
  • Wire localization, in which a guide wire is placed into the suspicious area to help the surgeon locate the lesion for surgical biopsy.