Image Guided Biopsy
Image Guided Biopsy is an imaging technique to obtain a tissue sample of a very specific area of the body for cell evaluation. Utilizing ultrasound or conventional x-rays for needle placement assures accuracy of the cell retrieval by verifying the exact site of biopsy. From breast biopsies to thyroid biopsies, FRC’s radiologists are experts at obtaining the needed tissue for thorough evaluation.
Breast Biopsy procedures are performed several ways. Depending on the imaging tool that best visualizes the abnormality, a breast biopsy can be performed using ultrasound, x-ray or MRI technology.
When a breast abnormality is present and visualized with ultrasound, the radiologist can perform an ultrasound-guided breast biopsy with a specialized biopsy device. This device advances a needle into the breast and obtains a small core sample of tissue. Unlike traditional surgical biopsies, the procedure is generally painless and leaves no scar. These core tissue specimens are then delivered to a laboratory where a pathologist microscopically examines them. At that time it is determined whether the breast abnormality is cancerous or a benign breast disorder.
When a breast abnormality is present and better visualized by mammography, the radiologist can perform a Stereotactic-guided breast biopsy using x-ray imaging. The process involves advancing a core biopsy needle into the abnormal area and removing small samples of tissue. The procedure is similar to ultrasound-guided breast biopsy, utilizing a vacuum assisted biopsy device. These core tissue specimens are then delivered to a laboratory where a pathologist microscopically examines them. At that time it is determined whether the breast abnormality is cancerous or a benign breast disorder.
When a breast abnormality is best visualized by MRI, the radiologist can perform an MRI guided biopsy. Breast MRI utilizes an intravenous contrast. Using MRI to guide a special vacuum assisted core needle into the abnormality, the radiologist can obtain tissue samples. These tissue samples are delivered to a laboratory where a pathologist microscopically examines them. At that time it is determined whether the breast abnormality is cancerous or a benign breast disorder.
Although benign, some simple cysts can be painful or large enough to be bothersome. Some cysts contain debris and these are referred to as “complex” cysts. Your doctor or a radiologist may recommend ultrasound-guided cyst aspiration to relieve cyst pressure or to further evaluate a complex cyst.
Thyroid Biopsies are performed in partnership with a pathologist, using ultrasound to obtain a sample of thyroid cells. This procedure is the preferred method of identifying thyroid cancer, or other thyroid abnormalities. The tissue sample is obtained by a specialized radiologist and immediately evaluated by the pathologist. The pathologist is able to provide immediate results to the patient at the time of the procedure.
CT Guided Biopsies are performed only in a hospital environment by specialized radiologists. Utilizing CT technology, a radiologist is able to map the exact location of the tissue and direct the biopsy device to a precise location. This procedure is not done in our outpatient imaging centers; so if your doctor has requested this type of biopsy, contact one of the Inova Hospital radiology departments for further information.
For more information on this topic, please visit www.radiologyinfo.org.