MRI Guided Breast Biopsy

WHAT IS MRI GUIDED BREAST BIOPSY?

When a screening mammogram or other test shows evidence of cells that need to be tested for cancer, MRI guided imaging allows pinpoint direction to the area being investigated so that a sample can be collected with minimal disturbance to surrounding tissues. 

Radiology Associates of Ocala utilizes a vacuum-assisted needle biopsy device (VAD) to collect the tissue samples – this means the needle needs to be inserted only once and then rotated to examine the whole area of interest without requiring repeat insertions. The multiple samples are sent to a pathologist who will identify his or her findings and share them with your radiologist and referring clinician, who will explain the results to you.

WHY HAVE MRI GUIDED BIOPSY VS. ANOTHER METHOD?

MRI provides highly detailed images of soft tissues and can help your radiologist and referring clinician isolate lesions, including very tiny ones, even in dense breast tissue. Unlike many other image guidance procedures, MRI delivers no ionizing radiation, making it both effective and safe.

WHERE IS MRI GUIDED BIOPSY OFFERED?

Radiology Associates of Ocala is the only imaging center in Marion County that offers MRI guided breast biopsy. Because we are the only local center to provide this procedure, many out-of-network insurance carriers will cover this test provided it is ordered by your clinician.

HOW DO I KNOW IF BREAST MRI IS THE RIGHT EXAM FOR ME?

Your physician or our radiologists will determine if you would benefit from a breast MRI.

WHAT TO EXPECT?

You will be asked to change into a gown and remove all metal, including jewelry, watches, etc. People with metal pins or plates anywhere in their body may not be eligible for this test, so if you have any irremovable metal anywhere, please alert your technologist. As with any imaging exam, tell your technologist if you may be pregnant before you proceed. 

Your technologist will ask you to lie facedown on a specialized table with your breast placed through an opening designed for this purpose. You may be given an intravenous injection of contrast material called gadolinium. 

The breast being imaged will be gently compressed and held in a fixed position to ensure accuracy. Your radiologist will use computer software to map the exact location where tissue samples will be obtained. 

The skin over the biopsy area will be cleansed and then numbed with a local anesthetic injection. A small incision will be made and the biopsy instrument will be inserted. You may feel some slight pressure during this time. As the samples are taken, you may hear a ‘click’ from the biopsy device. Several samples will be obtained to ensure the most accurate diagnosis possible. 

When the procedure is completed, sterile gauze and an ice pack will be applied over the incision to minimize swelling. Before you leave, a simple pressure bandage and some sterile strips will be placed over the incision. Stitches are not needed for this procedure. In certain cases, the area being sampled and/or the biopsy site may be marked in case further testing or surgery is required. This procedure usually takes about 45 minutes. 

Once you receive instructions on post-procedure at-home care, you can go about your day, but it is recommended that you avoid strenuous activity for at least 24 hours following your biopsy. If you are going to be sedated during your exam, please have someone drive you to and from your appointment.

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