EYE ON DIAGNOSTICS: Sorting out breast biopsy options

March 2006 
Volume 36  Number 3
Pages 70 - 71
  PDF Version Available!



YOUR PATIENT'S mammogram showed a new density in her left breast. Her health care provider tells her that she'll need a breast biopsy as soon as possible. He'll perform one of four procedures: needle aspiration, vacuum-assisted biopsy, an advanced breast biopsy instrument (ABBI) procedure, or surgical biopsy. Each has advantages and disadvantages; the choice depends on such factors as the patient's age, the type of tissue abnormality, and the health care provider's preference.

In this article, I'll explain the pros and cons of each procedure so you can answer your patient's questions as she makes treatment decisions. But first, let's review some preliminary steps.

Localizing diseased tissue

Before any breast biopsy can be performed, the abnormal tissue must be localized. Although most palpable breast lesions don't need image guidance, nonpalpable breast lesions must be localized using such image-guidance systems ...

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