Stereotactic Breast Biopsy

A sterotactic breast biopsy is a procedure in which a sample of abnormal breast tissue is obtained and sent for analysis to determine if the abnormal breast tissue, seen on a mammogram, or a lump is benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

Before Your Procedure

  • You will be asked to discontinue the following medications:
  • 24 hours prior – Xarelto
  • 48 hours prior – Reopro, Eliquis
  • 72 hours prior – Pradaxa, Arixtra
  • 5 days prior – Brilinta, Aggrenox
  • 7 days prior – Effient, Pletal, Plavix
  • 14 days prior – Ticlid
  • Hold one dose prior to procedure – Levenox

If You Have any Kidney Issues, You May Be Asked to Hold Certain Medication Longer than Listed. Please Contact Your Provider for any Questions.

  • Please bring a current list of your medications with dosage and frequency.
  • You may eat a light breakfast.
  • Do not wear deodorants, powders or perfumes on your upper body.
  • You will be asked to undress from the waist up, so wear a blouse, shirt or sweater that you can easily remove, rather than a dress.
  • Wear a clean bra for support after your procedure.

During Your Procedure

  • You will rest face-down on a specially designed X-ray table.
  • Your breast will be positioned through an opening in the table so it can be compressed and X-rayed during the procedure.
  • A technologist will help you position yourself correctly and comfortably.
  • The table is raised during the procedure so that the technologist and radiologist can work beneath you, out of view.
  • The radiologist uses a computer to determine the precise location of the abnormality in your breast.
  • After anesthetizing (numbing up) the correct site, a needle is guided into the breast to obtain samples of the abnormal tissue. Most women feel some pressure, but there is usually no pain.
  • Multiple tissue samples are taken and a metallic marker may be inserted through the biopsy needle.
  • The samples are examined by a pathologist, who then makes a diagnosis within a few days.
  • A radiologist and technologist will be with you throughout the procedure.
  • Please feel free to ask any questions before and during the exam.
  • The entire procedure takes about 1 1/2 hours.

After Your Procedure


  • No heavy upper body lifting. Limit vigorous upper body motion (for example, no vacuuming or heavy house cleaning, tennis, running, swimming or aerobics) for the next 24 hours.


  • Keep steri-strips on for 2-3 days. Replace band-aid as necessary.
  • Do not submerge area in water – showering is okay.

Symptom Control

  • If biopsy site starts to bleed, hold pressure on the site for 10-15 minutes.
  • Crushed ice, in a bag wrapped in a light weight cloth, may be placed on the site to help minimize pain/swelling/bleeding.
  • You may have site pain and tenderness. Tylenol (Aceteminophen) may be taken if not contraindicated.
  • You may want to wear your bra for the next 24 hours to provide extra support to help ease any discomfort.

When to Call your Doctor of the Breast Center

Call if You Experience any of the Following Problems:

  • Bleeding that is uncontrolled or does not stop.
  • Breast becomes warm to the touch and/or you notice redness/swelling/drainage.
  • Fever over 100.5 degrees

Surgical Clip or Marker

  • You may have had a surgical clip (marker) placed in your breast after your procedure. If this should come out when you return home, please call us. This marker is very important for future follow-up, and failure to call us might impact further studies. We can be reached at 320-229-4919.

Biopsy Results

  • Pathology results take approximately 3-4 working days. At times, second opinions are required from outside facilities, which will add to the result time.
  • The Breast Center or your physician will be calling to inform you of the biopsy results.

Medications Used

  • You may have received Lidocaine or Lidocaine with epinephrine today as part of your examination in the Breast Center.

Patient may resume ___________________ on ___________________ (date).


Any questions that may arise can be answered by calling:

The Breast Center Staff Office Hours: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Friday 320-229-4919 Select option #1 or 1-800-835-6652, ext. 71681.

If you should have problems or concerns, following your biopsy, and it is after Breast Center hours, or on the weekend, please call your provider or visit the Urgency Center or Emergency Room.

Providing safe, quality patient care is our highest priority. To help ensure quality and safety, we ask that you do not bring young children with you to your appointments, as children are not allowed to accompany you during Imaging procedures. Staff is unable to monitor your child in your absence.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your provider.

Back to Imaging Patient Instructions