MRI Breast Biopsy

What is an MRI Guided Breast Biopsy?

A breast biopsy is a simple procedure that involves sampling tissue from an area of concern within the breast. This tissue is taken from any lump or abnormality your doctor feels or sees in a breast image. The images may be from a mammogram, an ultrasound, or MRI. A pathologist will examine the tissue samples taken during your biopsy to determine a diagnosis.

Your physician has recommended and ordered an MRI-guided, vacuum assisted, breast biopsy for you. The procedure will be performed at Oregon Advanced Imaging using the Espree 1.5 tesla MRI – one of the most technologically advanced MRIs in southern Oregon.

Your appointment time may vary depending on location and number of areas to be investigated. Please be prepared to be at OAI for up to three hours.

Preparing for your MRI Breast Biopsy

Please inform us when making your breast biopsy appointment if you are:

  • Taking anti-coagulants (“blood thinners” such as Coumadinor Heparin). Blood thinners may need to be stopped 3-5 days prior to your biopsy. You will need to contact your prescribing physician and seek instructions regarding this. A blood test may be required.
  • Taking aspirin or large doses of vitamin E or fish oil, which can affect blood clotting. Do not take any of these for seven days prior to your biopsy. If you must take over-the-counter pain medication before the biopsy, use Tylenol.
  • Wash your breasts and underarms thoroughly with soap and water. Wear loose-fitting, two-piece clothes to simplify undressing and dressing. Wear a bra.

What to expect during Your MRI Breast Biopsy

You will lie face down on the MRI scanner with your hands above your head and face resting in a padded headrest. A local anesthetic will be used to numb the area at the small incision site and biopsy area. You will be awake throughout the procedure. Using the MR images to guide the way, a radiologist will advance the biopsy needle tip to the area in question. You may feel some pressure in your breast and some pain. Samples will be collected and a set of images taken. A tiny clip will be left at the biopsy site to mark it for future reference. Once the biopsy is complete, the incision is covered with antibiotic cream, steri-strips, and a bandage. No stitches are needed.

Possible side-effects of MRI Breast Biopsy

During the biopsy, most patients experience only mild discomfort. Rarely patients experience significant bleeding or pain during the biopsy. Following the biopsy, bruising is common. Discomfort, tenderness, and bleeding at the biopsy site are all usually mild, but occasionally they are significant. Post-biopsy breast infection and other risks and complications rarely occur.

Complications from this biopsy or any other type of breast biopsy can delay subsequent breast surgery. Rarely, patients may have an allergic reaction to the local anesthetic.

Post-MRI Breast Biopsy instructions

  • Place the provided ice pack inside your bra on top of the bandages. Discard pack after it warms up. Continue with additional ice packs as needed until bedtime. Warm packs can be used the next day to assist in relieving any discomfort.
  • Wearing a tight bra or a sports bra for the first 24 hours assists in keeping sufficient compression on the biopsy site. You may also receive additional compression bandages at your biopsy appointment.
  • DO NOT TAKE aspirin. If you normally take aspirin, you may resume taking it 48 hours after the biopsy.
  • Do not shower or bathe for 24 hours after your procedure.
  • Leave the under layer of steri-strips in place for 72 hours (three days).
  • After 24 hours and once you’ve removed the outer bandage, you may bathe with the steri-strips in place. Attempt to keep the steri-strips from getting saturated with water. If the steri-strips come off, use an antibiotic cream (Neosporin) and a Band-aide for 72 hours. Carefully pat dry the biopsy area after bathing.
  • Do not go swimming or in a hot tub until the biopsy area is completely healed.
  • Do not participate in strenuous activities for 24-48 hours (i.e., tennis, aerobics, skiing, weightlifting, etc.).
  • It is normal to have some bleeding. If the bleeding becomes an issue, decrease your activity and immediately apply pressure directly to the biopsy, pressing firmly for 10 minutes, or longer if necessary.
  • It is normal to have some swelling, bruising, or scabbing at the biopsy site. While this can be bothersome, it is not abnormal. Watch the biopsy site for the next few days. If increased redness, swelling, tenderness, fever occurs, or if bleeding continues, contact Oregon Advanced Imaging at 541-608-0350.

Your referring health care provider will receive a report within 72 hours from Rogue Valley Medical Center Pathology Department. Please contact your doctor for your diagnosis.

Your insurance provider will receive bills from Oregon Advanced Imaging, Medford Radiological Group, and the Rogue Valley Medical Center Pathology Department.

MRI Breast Biopsy Images

Below is an example of an MRI Breast Biopsy image: