When you arrive, you will be escorted to a procedure room.
It is best to wear a blouse and slacks or a skirt, since you will need to remove the clothing from the waist up.
A mammography technologist will position your breast in the stereotactic mammography machine. Your breast is slightly compressed and held in position throughout the procedure.
Next, several X-ray films will be taken in order to locate the area in question. Once this is done, the healthcare provider will review the films and use a computer to locate the exact area to be sampled. The skin of the breast is then cleaned and a small amount of local anesthetic is injected into the skin and deeper tissues of the breast with a small needle. This anesthetic (lidocaine) is similar to what one might have at a dentist's office. You may feel a pinch similar to a pin prick.
When the medicine has numbed the area, the healthcare provider will insert a biopsy needle and take additional X-rays to ensure its proper placement. Then, several samples of tissue will be extracted for analysis.
After that, pressure will be applied to the site for several minutes to prevent bleeding. Finally, a simple dressing will be placed over the site.
Most women feel well enough to resume their usual activities shortly after the procedure.
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