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Nuclear Medicine
Special Procedures

Special Procedures


Cyst Aspiration/Fine Needle Aspiration

Fine needle aspiration of the breast is a procedure that is performed using a needle to draw out a small amount of cells or fluid from the breast. The area of concern is anesthetized before the procedure, with very little discomfort involved. It generally leaves no scar and is considered a simple office procedure, performed using ultrasound guidance.

Stereotactically Guided Breast Core Biopsy

This is an alternative to a more invasive surgical biopsy. The area of concern is anesthetized before the procedure. There is only mild discomfort and generally no scarring of the breasts. The breast is gently compressed for this procedure. The stereotactically guided breast biopsy uses computer technology that enables our radiologists to locate and obtain a sample of the precise center of the area in question. The procedure uses x-rays and a special biopsy needle.

Ultrasound Guided Breast Core Biopsy

This is an alternative to a more invasive surgical biopsy. The area of concern is anesthetized before the procedure. There is only mild discomfort and generally no scarring of the breasts. An ultrasound scan detects breast changes by sending high-frequency sound waves into the breast. The echo patterns from the sound waves are converted into an image of the breast's interior. The radiologist will insert the biopsy needle and remove samples of tissue, using the ultrasound for guidance.

Ductogram

This is a test used to evaluate some cases of nipple discharge, in order to see what the inside of the breast duct looks like. A tiny thread-like catheter is passed into the opening of the duct and then a small amount of X-ray dye is used to fill the duct prior to taking mammographic images. There is generally minimal or no discomfort with this procedure.

MRI Guided Breast Core Biopsy

This is an alternative to a more invasive surgical biopsy. There is only mild discomfort and generally no scarring of the breasts. The breast is gently compressed for this procedure and local anesthetic is used. Biopsies performed with MRI use a strong magnet and radio waves to guide the procedure. The procedure takes a little more time than the other biopsies because of the way the images are acquired. The actual time it takes to sample the tissue is the same. The radiologist will insert the biopsy needle using precise computer software and remove samples of tissue.

Preparation

If you take a blood thinning medication or aspirin, check with your physician about temporarily stopping your medication several days before the procedure. (Note: There is no need to discontinue this medication for ductogram procedures.)
On the day of your procedure, it is best to wear a loose blouse and a skirt or slacks, as you will need to remove the clothing from your upper body for the procedure.

Exam

When you arrive, you will be escorted to your own private dressing room. A specially trained staff member will explain the entire procedure to you.

Some of the special procedure exams can take as long as 90 minutes. After your procedure, you will be given post-procedure care and instructions.

Results

A radiologist will review your exam images, and tissue samples will be sent for pathology. A report of the findings will be sent to your health care provider usually within 24 to 48 hours after the procedure.