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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

MRI-guided breast biopsy

Our specially trained radiologists use MRI-guided breast biopsy to precisely locate and remove tissue from a suspicious area in the breast for diagnosis and treatment planning.

During this minimally invasive, image-guided procedure, the patient lays face down on a padded exam table and the affected breasts are positioned into openings in the table. We can adjust the table’s padding for each patient to improve comfort.*

The breasts are then gently compressed between two plates marked with a grid structure, and scanned laterally and medially. This allows us to properly image all quadrants of the breast, the axilla and up into the chest wall.

Using targeting software, the radiologist measures and pinpoints the position of the breast tumor with respect to the grid. This helps us calculate the position and depth of the needle placement for the biopsy.

In preparation for the biopsy, we first inject a local anesthetic into the breast to numb it. Next, the radiologist inserts a core needle and advances it to the location of the tumor. We then use magnetic resonance (MR) imaging to verify the tumor’s position.

Once the tumor’s position has been confirmed, a vacuum-assisted needle uses vacuum pressure to pull tissue from the breast into the sampling chamber. The tissue samples are then taken to the laboratory for pathology testing.

Advantages of MRI-guided breast biopsy

The MRI device and targeting software allows our radiologists to position the coils as close to the breast as possible to achieve higher quality images and faster scan times.

The ergonomic design and visco-elastic padding of the table provide greater comfort throughout the procedure.*

The tabletop design allows the patient to position her arms at her side instead of over the head, resulting in less extension of the breast muscle and increasing the amount of breast wall in the imaging cone.*

During the biopsy, the needle rotates positions without having to withdraw and reinsert it, allowing us to collect additional tissue samples (generally eight to 10 samples).

*The Sentinelle Vanguard™ table for breast MR imaging is currently available at CTCA at Midwestern Regional Medical Center in Zion, Illinois. The other CTCA hospitals plan to acquire this technology in the near future.

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