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BID Plymouth Breast Center

Breast Center
275 Sandwich Street
Plymouth, MA 02360
Phone: 508-830-3000

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Breast Imaging
45 Resnik Road
Plymouth, MA 02360

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Breast Surgery
47 Obery Street
Plymouth, MA 02360
Phone: 508-746-1259

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About Core Biopsies

A core biopsy is a minimally invasive procedure to determine the pathology (diagnosis) of an abnormality or finding (on mammogram, ultrasound, or MRI). A small tissue sample is obtained with a needle. The sample is then sent to the pathologist to be examined. Results of the biopsy will be given to you within 2-3 business days (48-72 hours).

To make an appointment for breast health imaging, please call 508-830-3000 and one of our dedicated breast health team members will assist you.

Core Biopsy FAQs

Please find below answers to common frequently asked patient questions about core biopsies.

A needle localization is a pre-surgical procedure in which a wire is inserted, via a hollow needle into the breast to direct the surgeon to the area of abnormality or calcifications which cannot be felt on physical examination or to localize a clip which has been placed during a previous core biopsy.

Mammography or ultrasound is used to guide the needle into the area of concern. A flexible wire is placed through the needle and locked in place in your breast. The wire is then covered with a dressing to hold it in place. The average time for this part of the procedure is 30-60 minutes and is done under local anesthesia.

Following this needle localization, you will then be taken to the operating room where the surgeon will remove the needle along with the targeted tissue. This is usually done under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with IV sedation.

Stereotactic breast biopsy is another way of performing a core biopsy using digital mammography and a computer program that finds the exact location of the abnormality in the breast. Multiple samples are extracted and sent to pathology for examination. This biopsy method is ideally suited for microcalcifications found on mammography. Microcalcifications are extremely small (about the size of a grain of sand) usually located within a dime-sized area designated as a cluster. Occasionally a larger area, designated as a geographic area, may require a core biopsy of two separate areas—one on each end of the abnormality.

We allow one hour for this appointment but the biopsy itself only takes 2-3 minutes. Only local anesthesia is used and most patients can return to their normal routine afterwards.

You may experience some bruising or discomfort following this biopsy.

A clip is a metallic marker that is placed through the biopsy device at the site of the biopsy targeted tissue. It is used to mark the site of biopsy in case additional surgery is required such as a needle localization. This clip is left inside the breast and is not harmful to the body. If the biopsy leads to more surgery, the clip will be removed at that time. The clips placed in the breast at Beth Israel Deaconess - Plymouth are MRI compatible.

Please notify your surgeon prior to scheduling a breast biopsy if you take Aspirin, Aggrenox, Coumadin, Fish Oil, NSAIDS (such as Advil, Indocin, Ibuprofen, Motrin or Naprosyn), Plavix or Vitamin E.