What you should know

Your doctor has recommended that you have a breast biopsy because a suspicious area was seen on your mammogram. This is a simple procedure performed in the office by our team of breast imaging specialists.

During the biopsy, a small sample of tissue will be collected from the suspicious area. The tissue samples will be sent to a pathologist, a physician specializing in the analysis of tissue samples under a microscope. The pathologist will provide the biopsy results to your physician, who will review the results with you.

This outpatient procedure requires minimal preparation and recovery time.

Please contact our office if you have questions about this procedure. Our direct line is (850) 315-7834.

About the procedure

Our facility offers the Genius™ 3D Mammography™ exams and 3D™ breast biopsy. This technology allows your doctor to locate and biopsy small or subtle areas that appeared suspicious on your mammogram. In most cases, this 3D™ biopsy procedure will reduce the amount of time and X-ray dose used to collect the tissue sample compared to other X-ray breast biopsy procedures.

Before your procedure

In advance of your biopsy procedure, you should inform your doctor of any medications and vitamins you are currently taking - either prescription or over-the-counter. Your doctor may advise you to stop taking certain medications prior to your scheduled biopsy.

You may also be advised to wear loose clothing for comfort and not to wear deodorant or perfume.

Most patients are able to eat and drink normally and perform their typical daily activities before arriving for their breast biopsy.

During your procedure

After you have been positioned for your biopsy - either seated or lying on your side - your breast will be compressed and the technologist will take a 3D™ image of your breast to pinpoint the exact location of the suspicious area to be biopsied by your doctor. Your skin will be cleansed with sterilizing solution and numbed with anesthetic. A very small skin nick will then be made to make it easier for the biopsy needle to enter the breast.

Typically, multiple tissue samples will be collected through the single skin nick. A final set of images may then be taken to verify that the appropriate tissue was collected. Your physician may place a small marker (smaller than a grain of rice) at the biopsy site to make it easy to find the exact location of the biopsy in the future. The marker is made of a metallic alloy (i.e. titanium, stainless steel) and you will not be able to feel or notice the marker after it has been placed.

After your procedure

Pressure will be applied to your breast for a few minutes. A small bandage will be placed over the skin nick, and you may be given an ice pack to apply to the biopsy site. In some instances, a compression wrap bandage may be placed around your chest to minimize chances of swelling or bruising. Your doctor may prescribe a non-aspirin pain reliever to help alleviate any possible discomfort. Detailed instructions will also be provided on how to care for the biopsied area. Most patients can resume normal activities immediately following their procedure.


Q: How much of the breast tissue or lump will be removed?

A: Only a small sampling of tissue from the suspicious area will be taken.

Q: Am I getting more radiation dose with this 3D™ biopsy procedure than with a standard X-ray biopsy procedure?

A: The radiation dose during a 3D™ biopsy procedure is less than that of a standard X-ray biopsy procedure because it replaces several 2D imaging exposures with a single 3D™ imaging exposure.

Q: How long will the biopsy take?

A: Biopsy times vary depending on each patient's situation. Typically, the total time in the doctor's office for a 3D™ biopsy is 45 minutes from the time you enter the exam room until you leave. The actual procedure to locate and collect the tissue samples is about 15 minutes. This includes the time it takes for the doctor to remove tissue, which is usually less than one minute.

Q: Will I experience any pain during the procedure?

A: Each patient is different, but you might feel a slight sting or pinch when the anesthetic is first being administered to your breast. Numbing the breast prior to the biopsy should make the rest of the procedure as pain-free as possible.

Q: How will I feel after the procedure?

A: Your breast may be slightly tender and you may experience some bruising at the biopsy site. Typically, most women can resume many of their normal activities the same day as the procedure. Your doctor will advise you of post-biopsy procedure care.