Two Types of Breast Biopsies are Offered at Delnor to Serve our Patients' Needs
- Stereotactic and Ultrasound-Guided Breast Biopsy
- Sentinel Lymph Node Mapping and Biopsy
Stereotactic and Ultrasound-Guided Breast Biopsy
When a mammogram shows something abnormal, the radiologist may recommend that a breast biopsy be performed. A biopsy is a way for the doctors to obtain one or several samples of breast tissue to be examined under a microscope. Sometimes a biopsy is needed if your doctor finds something during your breast examination, even though the mammogram appears normal.
At Delnor’s Center for Breast Health, we are able to perform several different biopsies. With our state-of-the-art digital sterotactic and ultrasound-guided Mammotome biopsy system, we can remove quality samples of breast tissue rapidly and accurately. This type of biopsy does not require a trip to the operating room.
A Mammotome biopsy is not always the best choice for every patient. There are some cases where the best approach is to have a surgical excision or biopsy. Any biopsy will usually require evaluation by a surgeon and sometimes approval of the radiologist prior to scheduling.
Together with the information from your mammogram and your doctor’s expertise, you can make a thorough and informed decision about your medical needs. Our team of caring and compassionate breast care specialists will help you arrange any additional procedures that may be needed.
Sentinel Lymph Node Mapping and Biopsy
Sentinel lymph node surgery is a procedure done in the surgical suite that identifies the first (sentinel) node or nodes that receive lymphatic fluid from a cancerous tumor, thus identifying the dominant lymphatic drainage pattern. Tumors may drain to different node chains in the breast, according to the position of the tumor. This procedure identifies the nodes most likely to show whether or not the cancer has metastasized (or spread) from the original tumor.
The area surrounding the tumor and/or the areola is injected with a dye and/or radiographic substance several hours before surgery. Before the incision is made on the breast, a handheld gamma-detection probe guides the surgeon to the lymphatic chain that drains the tumor, allowing removal of the sentinel node(s) stained by the dye and/or identified by the handheld probe. This single node (or nodes) is removed and during surgery is sent to pathology for immediate evaluation. The pathologist can often report to the surgeon during surgery. If cancer cells are present, a standard axillary lymph node dissection is most often done at this time.
Correctly identifying the sentinel node(s) improves the accuracy of selecting which nodes to remove surgically and evaluate for spread of the cancer. It may also prevent unnecessary removal of nodes, which may not be in the lymphatic drainage field of the tumor. Reducing the number of nodes removed during surgery can reduce the potential for lymphedema, a swelling from lymphatic fluid accumulation in the arm.
Not all patients are candidates for this procedure. Your surgeon will inform you if you are a candidate and discuss the procedure with you.