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Types of Breast Biopsy

Stereotactic Breast Biopsy

A stereotactic breast biopsy is performed with a special mammography machine to help guide the physician to an abnormal area in the breast.  

Stereotactic breast biopsy is performed when the patient or physician strongly prefers a nonsurgical method of assessing a breast abnormality shown by a mammogram, such as:

  • A suspicious solid mass
  • Micro calcifications – a tiny cluster of small calcium deposits
  • A distortion in the structure of the breast tissue
  • An area of abnormal tissue change
  • A new mass or area of calcium deposits present at a previous surgery site

The radiologist at Howard County General Hospital performs most biopsies:

Victor Bracey, M.D.
5755 Cedar Lane
Columbia, MD 21044

Other physicians who perform stereotactic breast biopsy:

Deepak Merchant, M.D.
Keith Falcao, M.D.
G. Michael Meyer, M.D.
Gerald Hayward, M.D.
Kiran Parikh, M.D.

Ultrasound Guided Breast Biopsy

An ultrasound guided breast biopsy is performed when the physician uses ultrasound to locate an area of concern in the breast. Ultrasound guidance is used in three procedures:

  • Fine needle aspiration (FNA), which uses a very small needle to extract fluid or cells from the abnormal area.
  • Core needle biopsy, which uses a hollow needle to remove samples of breast tissue.
  • Wire localization, in which a guide wire is placed into the area of concern to help the surgeon locate the lesion during a surgical biopsy.

Excisional Biopsy

A surgeon removes the entire lump in the breast using local, local with sedation or general anesthesia. A pathologist reads the specimen and the surgeon discusses the results with the patient. A follow up procedure may be required.

Incisional Biopsy

A section of the lump is removed by a surgeon using local, anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia. A pathologist reads the specimen and the surgeon discusses the results with the patient.

How to Prepare for Your Biopsy

  • It is best to wear a two piece outfit. You may be asked to remove jewelry, eye glasses or clothing that may interfere with the x-ray images.
  • Women should always inform their physician if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.
  • You should not wear deodorant, powder, lotion or perfume under your arms or on your breasts on the day of the exam.

Results from Pathology

The patient’s physician will communicate results from pathology. Those requiring follow-up procedures are referred by their physician to the Breast Center at Howard County General Hospital.


For further information or to schedule an appointment for a biopsy, call Diagnostic Imaging at 410-720-8130.