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Stereotactic Breast Biopsy - What You Need to Know

What is a stereotactic breast biopsy?
It is a non-surgical way to biopsy small, suspicious spots in the breast that cannot be felt but can be seen on screening mammograms.

Why biopsy at all?
These small, suspicious spots may be breast cancer that has just started, or early breast cancer. Or they may be nothing at all, a benign lesion. The only way to tell for sure is to biopsy them.

Why use stereotactic breast biopsy?
It is an accurate way to biopsy these small, suspicious spots that cannot be felt. It is basically a special digital x-ray machine that is linked to a powerful computer.

The computer transforms two-dimensional images--such as what you get with a standard x-ray--into three-dimensional space. This information helps to aim a biopsy probe, which is a needle that will take out the suspicious spots. Because the computer is looking at these spots in three dimensions, it increases the chances of getting a good biopsy.

How is the stereotactic breast biopsy done?
Patients are awake for this type of procedure. A local anesthetic is used to numb only the breast area where the biopsy will occur. The patient is asked to lay face down on a special bed. The breast with the suspicious spots is placed through an opening built into the bed. X-ray images of the breast are taken and the computer helps to locate the abnormality. Just as was done with a regular mammogram, the breast is slightly compressed to help hold the breast still and allow for better images.  Then the computer guides the physician in placing the needle at the correct target area. A suction device is used to increase the accuracy of the biopsy.

What can I expect from the stereotactic breast biopsy and afterwards?
Only a small incision is made to minimize discomfort and bleeding. This procedure is less invasive and less painful compared to other methods. It takes far less time to perform this nonsurgical technique and you’ll be back home the same day, able to resume normal activities.

Stereotactic breast biopsy is performed at VCU Community Memorial Hospital. Early detection is your best defense against breast cancer; it provides your doctor with better treatment options and greatly improves the chances for successful treatment. For more information, please feel free to contact Dr. Rimon at CMH Surgical Services, LLC.

Protect yourself and loved ones from these debilitating skin cancers.

Summer is here! Although this comes with beautiful, breezy, sunny days, protecting yourself adequately from those harmful ultraviolet rays is very important. Sun exposure, whether it be cumulatively over time or harsh burns can lead to many undesirable skin lesions and even cancer! In fact, basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma skin cancers can all be related to a person’s sun exposure over their lifetime! Despite the mild nature of both basal and squamous cell skin cancers, melanoma is very aggressive and can lead to early death even in young people. Follow these helpful hints to better protect yourself and loved ones from these debilitating skin cancers.

  • SUNSCREEN, SUNSCREEN, SUNSCREEN! Research shows that applying a minimum of SPF 30 when venturing outdoors is most protective. Remember to apply approximately 20-30 mins before going outside and always re-apply every 2 hours!

  • Wear a hat whenever venturing for outdoor activities. Baseball caps can leave the ears and neck area dangerously exposed. Stick to hats with 2-3 inch brims which go all the way around!

  • Sunglasses are helpful. Look for “UV 400” when purchasing a pair, as this means that approximately 99% of the harmful sun rays will be deflected.

It is also extremely important to have any suspicious, new, changing, and growing skin lesions to be evaluated by a physician. Dr. Desiderio Rimon, board certified general surgeon has been examining and excising skin lesions (both benign and cancerous) for over ten years. Call and make an appointment with Dr. Rimon if you have any suspicious lesions which are concerning you.