A breast biopsy is a minor surgical procedure most often done following an abnormal mammogram or breast ultrasound. It is done to sample the abnormal area of the breast for the presence of cancer cells. The minimally invasive biopsy techniques use X-ray or ultrasound to guide the surgeon to the area of concern. The tissue samples are analyzed by a pathologist to look for cancer cells. Breast biopsies usually take less than an thirty minutes to complete, and the results are normally delivered at the office in person within three to five business days.
Stereotactic breast biopsies use X-ray imaging to accurately identify the location of the abnormal tissue so that it can be sampled. The most common reason to use this technique is for microcalcifications seen on mammogram. These are tiny calcium deposits seen on the X-ray. During a stereotactic breast biopsy, patients lie face down on a specially designed table that allows access to the breast through an opening. The breast is compressed between two plates and the biopsy is performed using computer guidance.
Ultrasound-guided breast biopsies are the simplest and most comfortable method to rule out the presence of breast cancer. A gel is applied to the breast and an ultrasound probe is used to guide Dr. Martinez to the area of concern. The biopsies are highly accurate because the are perform in real time. The tissue samples are then analyzed in the lab to determine if cancer cells exist.
MRI-guided breast biopsies use magnetic resonance imaging to locate tumors not seen on conventional X-ray or ultrasound. During MRI-guided biopsies, patients lie face down on a special table that has openings for the breasts. The breast is gently compressed between two plates and scanned to create an image of the breast. Dr. Martinez uses this image to accurately identify the tumor’s location and sample it. The abnormal tissues are sent to the lab to be examined by a pathologist.
Sentinel lymph node biopsies are used to determine if cancer has spread beyond the breast. The sentinel lymph nodes are the first nodes that the cancer cells are likely to enter in the arm pit. A radioactive dye is injected into the skin if the breast to help Dr. Martinez identify the sentinel lymph nodes. By removing the sentinel lymph nodes, the stage of the cancer can be determined while sparing the surrounding lymph nodes. This technique has resulted in a substantial decrease in lymphedema, a debilitating swelling of the arm which occurs after lymph node removal.
255 Delaware Avenue, Palmerton Pa 18071 | 610-826-4595
Hamilton Court Professional Center 3050 - Hamilton Blvd., Suite 200 - Allentown, PA 18103 | 610-826-4595
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