The purpose of this procedure is to identify the precise location of abnormal breast tissue for the surgeon prior to surgery. This is done by placing a small wire at the point of the abnormality. It allows the radiologist to identify the abnormal tissues and help guide the surgeon to the area previously biopsied that requires removal. It is typically performed the same day as the surgery.
Preoperative localization can be performed using either mammography, ultrasound or MRI guidance.
Before Your Needle Localization
You will undergo a breast exam and possibly a mammogram before the biopsy to determine where the lump is located. If you are having a sedative with local anesthesia, or if you are having general anesthesia, you'll be asked not to eat anything after midnight on the day before the surgery.
Tell your doctor if you're taking insulin, NSAIDs, or any medicine that can affect blood clotting. You might have to stop or adjust the dose of these medicines before your test.
During Your Needle Localization
An initial image (either mammogram, ultrasound or MRI) will be taken to identify the area. The breast will be cleaned and anesthetized to minimize pain. The radiologist will guide a very small needle and wire to the abnormal area, images will be taken to confirm accurate placement. When the tip is in the correct position, a small amount of blue dye will be injected through it. A marker will be placed on your breast at the site of the suspicious area. The needle will be removed leaving the wire in place to mark the site. The wire will be securely taped to the breast. The radiologist will review the final images and send them with you to the surgery center. The wire stays in your breast long enough to serve as a road map for the surgeon to find and remove the abnormality.
Your procedure will take approximately 60 minutes.