Image-Guided Breast Biopsy

For your image-guided breast biopsy, rely on the specialists at Adventist HealthCare. Your procedure will take place at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Breast Center in Rockville, Maryland.

What’s a Breast Biopsy?

A breast biopsy checks your breast for signs of a problem. Your doctor may recommend a breast biopsy after a mammogram or other imaging test shows signs of abnormal tissue in your breast. During a biopsy, your doctor uses a tiny needle to remove a small sample for examination.

To place the needle accurately, your doctor will use imaging technology, such as an MRI or ultrasound scan, or your doctor may do a stereotactic breast biopsy. This means mammograms taken from multiple angles will guide the needle.

How to Prepare

When you schedule your appointment, ask our staff how to prepare. You may need to stop taking blood-thinning medications, such as:

  • Full-strength aspirin
  • High-dose nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), like ibuprofen

Tell your scheduler if you:

  • Are allergic to intravenous (IV) or oral contrast
  • Are breastfeeding
  • Are pregnant or could be pregnant
  • Have diabetes or kidney disease

On the Day of the Procedure

The day of the biopsy:

  • Do not drink any alcohol.
  • Eat a light and healthy breakfast or lunch.
  • Get transportation to and from the facility if you plan to use any anti-anxiety or sedative medications.
  • Wear loose-fitting, metal-free clothing. Do not wear any jewelry.

What to Bring


  • A sports bra
  • Any reports or scans not from Adventist HealthCare
  • Insurance cards and photo ID
  • List of current medications
  • Referral from your physician

When You Arrive

Arrive 30 minutes before the appointment to fill out any needed paperwork. If a friend or family member comes to the imaging center with you, they will stay in the waiting room during the procedure.

What Happens During a Breast Biopsy?

You’ll be awake during the biopsy. Your radiologist will use a small needle to inject local anesthetic into your breast. This means the area will be numb and you won’t feel pain.

Using imaging technology as a guide, your doctor will take a small tissue sample. The way your doctor does the procedure depends on the type of biopsy.

How Long Does It Take?

Your procedure will last from 10 to 25 minutes.

After the Biopsy

Wear a tight sports bra or bandage for 24 hours after the biopsy. You can:

  • Apply ice on the biopsy site for the first 12 hours to prevent pain. It’s normal to have bruises, which usually heal in two to three weeks.
  • Do light physical activity. Avoid intense exercise and movements that shake your breasts for three days.
  • Remove the gauze dressing and take a shower the morning after the biopsy. Leave the Steri-strips (white strips of tape) on for at least seven days after the procedure.
  • Eat your normal diet.

Contact us right away if you have symptoms of infection, such as fever, redness or swelling, or if you have blisters.

Your Test Results

Your radiologist will send the results of your test to your referring physician. Count on Adventist HealthCare to coordinate any needed follow-up care. If your test results show signs of cancer, you can depend on our specialists for the latest breast cancer treatments.

Make an Appointment

Call 301-590-8999 to schedule your radiology or imaging service.

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