Breast Biopsy

Breast biopsies are simple procedures of removal of the breast tissues to get them tested for cancer or other breast disorders. Not many are aware that there are different kinds of breast biopsies. The doctors should educate their patients about these options and choose the one which is best for them after discussion.

When there are some abnormalities like lumps are found in physical breast examination or by mammography or other imaging studies, a breast biopsy is done to check the type of the growth. The biopsy is performed to remove cells through a surgical procedure or minimally invasive procedure from the suspicious area and examined microscopically for diagnosis. There are different kinds like fine needle aspiration, or hollow needle. The image-guided needle biopsy is not designed to remove the entire lesion but some part of it.

Image guided biopsy is employed when the suspicious area in the breast is very small and the lesion cannot be felt or located by hand. The procedure for image guided breast biopsy includes wearing loose fitting clothing and no metal fasteners. There are different specifications for different kinds of MRI exams, like some may require the patient to swallow or inject contrast material. Any kind of allergies or other serious health problems should be reported to the doctor. In case of severe health problems like kidney diseases, a blood test has to be taken prior to the contrast material, to check their proper functioning. In case of pregnancy, the doctor should be informed as the baby is exposed to strong magnetic field, however, there have been no ill effects reported yet. Also, all the medications and herbal supplements have to be reported to the doctor.

The image guided breast biopsy uses a traditional MRI unit which is a cylinder-shaped, large tube surrounded by a circular magnet.

The patient is asked to lie on a moveable examination table which slides through the cylinder-shaped magnet. There are some MRI units, which are also known as the short-bore systems, which are designed not to engulf and make the patient feel claustrophobic and suffocated. Also it is useful for obese patients. Though the new MRI units provide higher quality image, the open MRIs cannot be performed for all exams.

Most of the MRI guided breast biopsies are performed in closed MRI systems with a special exam table. The mobile examination table lets the breast relax in the cushioned openings with wire coils that send and receive radio waves which help to create MR images.

One should be aware about the new techniques and developments in the field of breast biopsy for a better and healthy living.