Needle Localizations Patient Procedure Description

What is it?

This is a special examination for localizing questionable masses that cannot be felt but are visualized on mammogram films. It is performed by the radiologist, a mammographer, a surgeon, and an assistant. This procedure is performed in conjunction with breast surgery and/or biopsy.

What will happen to me?

The patient is admitted to hospital short stay and an IV will be placed. Patient is taken to mammography suite. The patient is compressed with a grid-like plate and an exposure is made so the questionable area can be identified.  Once identified, a needle is inserted into the mass. The needle is left in the breast and the patient is transported to surgery. The surgeon will use this needle, which has a hook on the end, to locate the breast mass.

How long will this test take?

The needle localization procedure will only take about an hour. The surgical procedure time frame depends on what the surgeon is planning to do in the operating room.

What will I feel? Will it hurt?

The skin is prepared with a numbing medicine before the needle is inserted. The numbing medicine may burn slightly when it is injected. Once the skin is numb, you should only feel pressure as the needle is inserted.

What will the test show?

The procedure is performed to guide the surgeon to the site requiring biopsy/removal.

How do I get ready?

Read carefully the instructions provided by the surgical department. Do not eat or drink the day of the procedure.