Breast Care: Breast Biopsy

If an imaging test shows a suspicious growth in your breast, a biopsy is your next step. These minimally invasive procedures use computer imaging to locate the growth and take small tissue samples to study. Your doctors will choose the biopsy method best suited to your type of breast lump or abnormality.

Image-guided biopsy methods have advantages over traditional surgical biopsy:

  • No general anesthesia is required.
  • These procedures are performed in an outpatient setting.
  • The incision is much smaller, offering a better cosmetic result.
  • It is faster and less expensive.
  • Recovery time is brief, and you can soon resume your usual activities.

Breast biopsy procedures

It’s important to know that with any of these methods, about 80% of abnormal growths turn out to be noncancerous.

Stereotactic breast biopsy

When a mammogram shows a breast abnormality, this special mammography machine uses ionizing radiation to guide the radiologist’s instruments to the site of the abnormal growth. Stereotactic breast biopsy is also an excellent way to evaluate calcium deposits or tiny masses that are not visible on ultrasound.

Ultrasound-guided biopsy

An ultrasound-guided breast biopsy can be performed when a breast ultrasound shows an abnormality. It can evaluate lumps under the arm or near the chest wall, which are hard to reach with stereotactic biopsy. There are times when your doctor may decide that ultrasound guidance for biopsy is appropriate even for a mass that can be felt.

MRI-guided biopsy

This type of biopsy is most helpful when MR (magnetic resonance) imaging shows a breast abnormality. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) helps guide the radiologist’s instruments to the site of the abnormal growth.

To find breast biopsy services in your area, browse our Related Services menu.


Mercyhealth Breast Center

1000 Mineral Point Ave.
Janesville, WI 53548

Phone: (608) 741-6999

Mercyhealth Hospital and Medical Center–Walworth

Hwys. 50 and 67, N2950 State Road 67
Lake Geneva, WI 53147

Phone: (262) 245-0535
Toll-Free (800) 637-2901

Mercyhealth Women’s Center–Janesville

1000 Mineral Point Ave.
Janesville, WI 53548

Phone: (608) 756-6890

Mercyhealth Women’s Center–Rockford

7180 Spring Brook Rd.
Rockford, IL 61114

Phone: (815) 971-2299

Mercyhealth Woodstock

2000 Lake Ave.
Woodstock, IL 60098

Phone: (815) 337-7100
Toll-Free (888) 983-7100
Mercyhealth MyChart Sign In