Needle localization can be used to locate a breast abnormality that can be seen on a mammogram or ultrasound, but cannot be felt. By using the mammography or ultrasound, the radiologist can precisely localize the finding for the surgeon. This is similar to a biopsy, but will happen on the same day as surgery.
What you can expect:
- Your breast will be cleaned.
- A small amount of local anesthetic may be injected to numb the skin.
- A thin needle will be inserted into the breast to reach the abnormal area.
- Another mammogram will be taken to check the accuracy of the needle position.
- The radiologist will remove the thin needle, leaving a thread-like wire in place.
- Then, you will be taken to an operating room or a procedure room where your surgery will be done.
The breast tissue will usually be X-rayed to confirm that the abnormality has been removed. Then, a pathologist will carefully examine it and send their findings to your physician.