Athens Regional Health System
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Day of Needle Localization

On the day of your breast needle localization, please do not wear any lotion, powder, deodorant or perfume.

A breast needle localization takes approximately one hour. You should arrive at the Breast Health Center at your appointed time. This will ensure enough time to have the procedure completed prior to your surgery.

Your friends and/or family should then park in the ARMC parking deck and proceed to the Surgical Family Waiting Room in the Talmadge Tower. You will have plenty of time to visit with your friends and family in a private Pre-operative Short Stay room after the localization procedure.

Before the procedure, you will need to remove your clothing from the waist up and put on a terry cloth robe.

A radiologist who is trained in interpreting mammograms and breast ultrasounds will perform the procedure. This radiologist is also specially trained in performing needle localizations. The radiologist will be assisted by a technologist who is also trained in this procedure.

The technologist will help position you in a special chair or on a stretcher. Once positioned, the technologist will take an X-ray or do an ultrasound of your breast. This helps confirm the location of the abnormality.

The radiologist will numb the outer skin of your breast and the tissue deeper within your breast using a small needle. The injection of anesthetic may sting for a few seconds. Some patients describe a pinch or tiny prick.

The radiologist will then insert the localization needle toward the exact position of the abnormality.

Another X-ray or ultrasound will be taken to confirm the location of the needle.The needle may need to be repositioned to pinpoint the exact location of the abnormality.

When the radiologist has determined that the abnormality has been targeted, a wire already located inside the needle will be inserted to mark the position. A small hook at the end of the wire keeps it in place in the breast. The needle is then removed and part of the wire will remain outside your breast. This area will be covered with a gauze dressing.

Two final films may be taken to show your surgeon the exact location of the wire and the procedure is complete.

More information to help you:

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