It is not always possible to determine from imaging tests whether an abnormal area is benign or cancerous. A biopsy can determine this result. When this area is too small to be palpated, an image-guided biopsy is performed. Under local anaesthetic, a small amount of tissue is removed for examination by a pathologist under a microscope.
- Ultrasound-guided Core Biopsy: Ultrasound imaging is used to guide the radiologist to the appropriate site for biopsy.
- Stereotactic-guided Core Biopsy: A stereotactic localisation device attached to the mammography machine is used to guide the radiologist to the appropriate site for biopsy.
- Vacuum Assisted Biopsy: These systems use minimally invasive techniques to remove tissue which may previously have required admission for surgery. The technique is performed under ultrasound or stereotactic guidance.