Available at the following centers:
Kapiolani Pali Momi Straub Wilcox

An ultrasound-guided biopsy is a nonsurgical option developed to offer patients a less-invasive breast biopsy alternative. This method uses ultrasound images of the breast lump or mass to help guide the needle to the exact biopsy site.

What to Expect

  • The ultrasound-guided biopsy is performed by a physician with help from an ultrasound technologist. Before you arrive, the physician will have studied your ultrasound 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.
  • During the seven days prior to your procedure and the day of the procedure, do not take aspirin, medications containing aspirin, and any kind of blood thinner (e.g., vitamin E, gingko biloba, etc.).
  • On the day of the procedure, do not take any prescription medications for pain (e.g., Vicodin) or anxiety (e.g., Valium, Xanax, Ativan) and do not wear any powders, lotions or scented products.
  • Additionally, we request you avoid alcohol 24 hours prior to your appointment.
  • Once you are in the procedure room, the technologist will ask you to lie on your back on the examination table while a confirming ultrasound image is taken to ensure that the abnormality is seen.
  • You will have an opportunity to talk with the physician who will be performing the procedure.
  • The physician will numb the skin with a local anesthetic. This will be done with a very tiny needle.
  • The physician will ask you to hold still while a 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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