A stereotactic breast biopsy employs a precise technique that uses digital imaging and is less invasive than a needle-guided biopsy.

Why is a Stereotactic Breast Biopsy Performed?

A stereotactic, or X-ray guided, biopsy often is done when:

  • A woman has a mammogram showing a suspicious solid mass that cannot be felt on breast examinations
  • A mammogram shows a suspicious cluster of small calcium deposits
  • The structure of the breast tissue is distorted

How Is It Done?

A small incision is made in the skin and the tip of the biopsy needle is advanced to the previously calculated site of the lesion. Usually 3-6 samples are collected when a vacuum-assisted device is used. If the lesion has been mostly or completely removed, a small clip is left at the biopsy site so that it can be easily located if the lesion proves to be cancerous.

How Does a Stereotactic Biopsy Feel?

Most women report little or no pain and no scar is left from the tiny skin incision. Many women find that the major discomfort of the procedure is from lying on their stomach for the length of the procedure. A stereotactic biopsy can take 30 to 60 minutes or more.

What to Think About

  • Stereotactic (X-ray guided) breast biopsy is an excellent way to evaluate calcium deposits or masses not visible on ultrasound.
  • Use of a vacuum-assisted device may make it possible to remove the entire lesion.
  • Recovery time is brief and patients can resume their usual activities.

What happens after the test?

A radiologist will interpret your exam. The technologist who administers the test cannot interpret or discuss what they are viewing while performing the exam.

Make an Appointment

Make an appointment at one of over 25 convenient Memorial Hermann Imaging Center locations in the Houston area. Call us at (877) 704-8700 to schedule.

Contact Us

Complete the form below to be connected to our Nurse Navigator – a dedicated registered nurse who specializes in breast health and is available to provide education and resources.


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