This involves taking a small sample of tissue (cells) through a needle. The needle is guided into place by MRI.
When you arrive for your examination, you will be asked to fill out a safety questionnaire and a form that is used by our Doctors in assessing your individual case.
You will lie in the scanner on your front with your breasts in a special coil (the same as when you underwent your diagnostic scan) and enter the scanner feet first. During the examination, you will have a normal diagnostic scan which will involve the injection of contrast dye (Gadovist) to locate the area to be biopsied.
During the biopsy process, the bed you are lying still on will be moved in and out of the machine for additional imaging to ensure the correct region of interest is being targeted and for placement of the biopsy needle.
The scan is noisy so you will be given headphones and a buzzer to press if you want to talk to the technologist at any time. It is important that during the procedure, you lie extremely still.
Once the biopsy has been completed, a site marker is placed within the biopsy site whilst still in the MRI machine, so that the area may be identified by either Mammogram or Ultrasound for future reference, if any surgery is required depending upon the biopsy result. The site marker is made of either titanium or stainless steel; it is inert and safe to stay in your body indefinitely. It does not ‘beep’ at airport security. A Mammogram will be performed after the site marker has been placed to confirm its position.
After the biopsy is completed, one of our nurses will compress on the biopsy site for 10 – 15 minutes, and then place steri-strips bandage on the small skin incision. You will have a bruise that typically lasts for 2 weeks and you may manage any bruising or discomfort with compression and ice packs and pain relief such as paracetamol if required.
Before your Scan
Please advise our staff when your appointment is made if you are on blood thinning agents – for example warfarin, aspirin, and fish or krill oil. We may ask you to stop these medications or consult with your specialist who is referring you for the study
Please fast for 4 hours prior to the procedure, as you will lie on your stomach for approximately 45 minutes.
The entire process (preparation and imaging) can take 45 – 60 minutes.