Stereotactic Needle Biopsy
What is a stereotactic needle biopsy?
A stereotactic biopsy, also known as a stereotactic core needle biopsy, is a medical test to remove a piece of tissue. The tissue is then tested to find out what it is. Imaging, such as an x-ray or CT, is used during the biopsy to better see where the mass or lesion is that needs to be biopsied.
Stereotactic needle biopsies are commonly used to biopsy these parts of the body:
- Brain abnormalities
Stereotactic biopsies are minimally invasive, well tolerated, and widely available.
How do I prepare for a stereotactic needle biopsy?
Usually there is no need to prepare for this test. However, if you are on blood thinners, you may need to stop them several days in before the test.
How is this test performed?
You will be asked to sit or lie down depending on where the biopsy is being done. Imaging will be used to locate the mass. Local anesthesia, such as lidocaine, will be used to numb the area. A core needle will be inserted at the area of interest. This needle has a hollow middle, which can collect cells. The needle is normally passed through the lesion several times to make sure enough tissue is obtained. The actual insertion of the needle takes only a few minutes and the whole procedure can take 30 minutes to an hour.
What to expect after your core needle biopsy?
As the numbing medication wears off you may have some discomfort. You may have a small amount of bleeding at the site of the biopsy.
In some cases, a pocket of blood, or a hematoma, will collect in the area of the biopsy. This can be uncomfortable, but should resolve over the next few days. If there is severe pain following the procedure, you should contact your provider right away.
How do you receive the results of your core needle biopsy?
The tissue sample is reviewed by a pathologist and a report is written. The pathology report provides information about the patient and the reason for the test. The report will likely detail both normal and abnormal findings. Your provider will be able to discuss your results with you. You may want to ask for a copy for your records.