Ultrasound-guided breast biopsy utilizes ultrasound in order to precisely biopsy a suspicious mass visible at ultrasound. Typically, suspicious microcalcifications are biopsied using stereotactic guidance, while masses are biopsied using ultrasound-guidance. The radiologist may choose to use a skinny needle, core needle or vacuum-assisted biopsy device. When biopsying suspicious masses, we typically use the Mammotome™ vacuum-assisted needle. This has been shown to be the most sensitive and specific method to perform ultrasound-guided biopsy, minimizing the risk of a nondiagnostic biopsy or sampling error.
Minimally invasive biopsy is preferred to open surgical biopsy. Your physician however may choose to perform a surgical biopsy, particularly if the lesion lies too close to the skin or chest wall, or simply cannot be adequately defined at ultrasound. Additionally, better cosmetic results may be possible with an excision of a likely benign lesion such as a fibroadenoma.