Below are the biopsies that are performed at the Hunterdon Breast Surgery Center by our board certified breast surgeons:

Fine Needle Biopsy

A fine needle biopsy of palpable lesions (lesions that can be felt) is the least invasive biopsy. It can be done in the doctor's office. Results are often available in 24 hours. During the procedure, a long, thin, hollow needle is placed in the palpable abnormality. The tissue is then sent off to pathology for analysis. This biopsy technique has the highest risk of a "false negative" — a biopsy result that says "normal," even though cancer is present. Therefore this is not as commonly performed.

Stereotactic Biopsy

This type of biopsy uses mammograms to pinpoint the location of suspicious areas within the breast. For this procedure, you lie face down on a padded biopsy table with one of your breasts positioned in a hold in the table. You may need to remain in this position for 30 minutes to one hour. The table is raised several feet. The equipment used by your board certified breast surgeon is positioned beneath the table. Your breast is firmly compressed between two plates while mammograms are taken to show the radiologist the exact location of the area for biopsy. A small incision – about 4 millimeters – is made into your breast. The breast surgeon inserts either a needle or a vacuum-powered probe and removes several samples of tissue. The samples are sent to a laboratory for analysis. Results are usually reported within 5-7 days. At the Hunterdon Breast Surgery Center, the breast surgeons use a state-of-the-art stereotactic biopsy table that has 3D capability. This allows for the biopsy of abnormalities that might otherwise be missed with other technology. (The image on the left is our state-of-the-art stereotactic biopsy table where stereotactic biopsies are performed.)

Ultrasound-guided Needle Biopsy

This type of core needle biopsy involves ultrasound – an imaging method that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce precise images of structures within your body. During this procedure, you lie on your back on an ultrasound table. Using ultrasound, your breast surgeon locates the mass within your breast, makes a small incision to insert the needle and takes several core samples of tissue to be sent to a laboratory for analysis. (The image to the left is our ultrasound table where ultrasound-guided biopsies are performed.)

Excisional Biopsy

Excisional biopsy is the most involved kind of biopsy. It attempts to remove the entire suspicious lump of tissue from the breast, in the operating room or surgery center. The purpose of this procedure is to make a diagnosis. Even if the lumpectomy takes out all of the cancer in the breast with clear margins, if breast cancer is diagnosed at that time, an additional surgery may be required.

MRI-Guided Core Needle Biopsy*

*The MRI-Guided Core Needle Biopsy is performed at Hunterdon Medical Center under the recommendation of your breast surgeon.

This type of core needle biopsy is done under the guidance of MRI – an imaging technique that captures multiple cross-sectional images of your breast and combines them using a computer, to generate detailed 3-D pictures. This biopsy is selected if the abnormality is only seen on MRI imaging. During this procedure, you lie face down on a padded scanning table. Your breasts fit into a hollow depression in the table. The MRI machine provides images that help determine the exact location for the biopsy. Several samples of tissue are taken and sent to a laboratory for analysis.