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There are several types of breast biopsies:

Needle localization excisional biopsy

This is a two step procedure: First the mammographer uses orthogonal views to pass a needle into the area of interest, deploys a hooked wire through the needle, than removes the needle, leaving the hook in the area of interest, with the wire passing out through the patient's skin. The surgeon then excises this area with the hook of the wire still in the specimen. A specimen radiograph is made and results called to the operating room informing the surgeon that the area of interest is or is not in the specimen. If it is not, the surgeon willl frequently remove more tissue.


Stereotactic Vacuum Assisted Core Needle Biopsy

Utilizing ultrasound guidance or a stereotactic biopsy table, a large gauge needle, usually 11G, is passed into the area of interest and multiple core samples are obtained through an aperture in the side of the needle. The vacuum pulls the core samples out of the needle onto a specimen tray. A marker is often deployed at the site should a subsequent procedure be needed.