Available at the following centers:
Kapiolani Pali Momi Straub Wilcox

A stereotatic biopsy is a nonsurgical option developed to offer patients a less-invasive breast biopsy alternative.

What to Expect

  • The stereotatic biopsy is performed by a physician with help from a radiologic technologist. Before you arrive, the physician will have studied your mammogram to become familiar with the location of the abnormality.
  • Prior to day of the procedure, you will be contacted to review your medical history and current medications.
  • You will have an opportunity to talk with the physician who will be performing the biopsy on the day of the procedure.
  • After checking in, you will be asked to undress from the waist up. You will be given a robe to wear.
  • Once in the procedure room, the technologist will ask you to lie on your stomach on the examination table. Your breast will then be positioned through a special opening in the table.
  • Your breast will be compressed as it would be for a mammogram. A confirming X-ray is taken to ensure that the breast containing the abnormality is positioned correctly.
  • Using this information, the physician will then position the instrument containing the biopsy needle.
  • The physician will numb the skin with a local anesthetic. This will be done with a very tiny needle.
  • After taking a final set of X-rays to ensure placement, the physician will ask you to hold still while the needle is inserted to obtain tissue samples. After several samples have been taken, the physician will remove the needle.
  • For future reference, a marker will be placed in your breast at the biopsy site.
  • A dressing will be applied to the biopsy site.
  • A mammogram, taken with gentle compression, will be performed to confirm the location of the marker.

Will the Procedure Hurt?

  • Because the physician uses a local anesthetic, you likely will experience only a small amount of discomfort during the procedure. However, individuals do have different pain thresholds. Some patients report that the procedure feels similar to having an ear pierced or being snapped with a rubber band.

Aftercare Instructions and Results

  • You will be given instructions for biopsy aftercare. These instructions will be specific to your individual case.
  • The physician performing the biopsy will send your tissue sample to a pathologist who will look at it under a microscope. The results will be available to your referring physician in approximately one week. In most cases, your physician will contact you to discuss your results.
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