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    Needle Localization Breast Biopsy

    What is a Needle Localization Breast Biopsy?

    A needle localization breast biopsy is done when a mammogram, breast exam, ultrasound test, or needle biopsy of your breast shows something that does not seem normal. The biopsy takes about one hour. A wire is placed next to an abnormal area in the breast. The surgeon removes the wire and the abnormal area in the operating room.

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    Before Your Procedure

    • Pre-registration is a two-step process that you must complete before having a surgery, test, or procedure at California Pacific Medical Center.
      1. Health History. Please call (415) 600-2500 within 1- 2 weeks before your procedure to speak with a Pre-admission Testing nurse who will take your health history, answer your questions, and explain what testing is necessary before your surgery, test, or procedure.

        Based on your health status, the nurse may send you to complete any required testing before you come to the hospital. The nurse will tell you where you can go for your test(s).
      2. Pre-Registration. The nurse will connect you to the Patient Access Center to complete the pre-registration process. Please be sure to have your insurance card information ready when you begin.
    • You may not drive yourself home after the procedure. Make sure someone can pick you up after your biopsy. You should NOT drive until the next day.

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    On the Day of Your Procedure

    1. Arrive 2 hours early.

    2. Go to 3698 California Street, 3rd floor, Ambulatory Surgery Unit (ASU).

    3. You can come alone or bring family and/or friends. They can wait in the waiting room during the procedure.

    4. You sign a consent form stating that you understand the procedure.

    5. You get medicines to help you relax during the biopsy and a local anesthesia to numb the area. Please tell the staff if you have any pain.

    6. A technologist takes a mammogram or ultrasound image of your breast.

    7. A radiologist puts a wire through a thin needle into the breast tissue next to the area to be biopsied. The blue dye is injected through the needle to color the area.

    8. You are brought by wheelchair or gurney (bed with wheels) to the Operating Room. This is a good time to ask the surgeon any questions.

    9. The surgeon does the biopsy.

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    After Your Procedure

    • After the biopsy, you return to Ambulatory Surgery. You may stay for 30 minutes to several hours, depending on how you feel.

    • Your nurse gives you both verbal and written instructions about how to care for yourself at home.

    • You may not drive yourself home after the biopsy. Make sure someone can pick you up after your biopsy. You should NOT drive until the next day.

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    Your get your first biopsy results from your surgeon within 2 - 3 days after your biopsy. Other results may take up to 10 days.
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    More Ways to Learn

    • Call the Nurse at the Breast Health Center for more information about this procedure or for a free consultation: (415) 600-6281

    • Visit the American Cancer SocietyOpens new window site for more information about breast cancer.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Question: Will there be any discomfort?
    Answer: Yes, you may have some discomfort after your biopsy and you get a prescription for pain medicine.

    Question: Can I drive home after the procedure?
    Answer: No, make sure someone can pick you up after your procedure.

    Question: When will I get my results?
    Answer: Your biopsy results are ready in 2 -3 days.

    Produced by the staff and physicians at California Pacific Medical Center in association with the Center for Patient and Community Education. Last updated: 03/15.

    Note: This information is not meant to replace any information or personal medical advice which you get directly from your doctor(s). If you have any questions about this information, such as the risks or benefits of the treatment listed, please ask your doctor(s).

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