When a suspicious area is found on a mammogram but cannot be felt and requires further evaluation by a surgeon, needle localization may be recommended. The radiologist marks the area to be biopsied with a needle and a wire. The wire guides the surgeon to the abnormal area for removal during surgery.
What Should I Expect?
Needle localizations can be performed under mammography or ultrasound. Initial image will be taken to identify the area. The breast will be cleansed and anesthetized to minimize pain. The radiologist will guide a small needle and wire to the abnormal area, images will be taken to confirm accurate placement. The radiologist will review the final images and send them with you to the surgery center. The wire stays in your breast long enough to serve as a road map for the surgeon to find and remove the abnormality.
While you are still in the operating room, the tissue that is removed will be brought back to the breast center and an X-ray image can be done to confirm that the abnormality has been removed from your breast.