MR Guided Breast Needle-Core Biopsy Procedure Information

Your doctor has requested an MRI-guided breast needle-core biopsy. The goal of a biopsy is to remove a small sample of tissue for testing in a laboratory. A biopsy can help diagnose abnormalities such as infection, inflammation or malignancy. During your biopsy, an imaging physician will use an MRI scanner to accurately guide a needle to the biopsy site. The needle will then be used to remove a tissue sample. At the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center a highly-trained medical team will oversee your procedure. This team will include an imaging physician and an imaging technologist.

Before Arriving for Your Procedure

  • You can print and fill out the MRI Questionnaire and the MRI and Pregnancy form, if applicable, from the Pre-Registration Questionnaire page before arriving to speed the registration process.
  • If you need to, please eat a light breakfast the day of your procedure. 
  • Do not alter your diet or medications without being instructed to do so by your physician.
  • Do not take aspirin or aspirin-related medications for seven days before your procedure. You should discuss any changes to your medications with your physician.
  • Please do not take vitamin E products for seven days before your procedure.
  • Please wear a sports bra or camisole that can go over the post-biopsy wrap.
  • It is only necessary to have a friend or family member to drive you home if your referring doctor has prescribed sedation for this exam.
  • You will need to wear a hospital gown for this procedure, so please wear clothing that you can change easily.
  • Please arrive one hour before your scheduled exam to allow time for registration and a pre-procedure interview.
  • If your surgery is scheduled in the main hospital, please check in two hours before your exam at the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center.
  • You should expect to be at the imaging center for approximately four hours.

After Arriving

  • Arriving at the imaging center, a radiology technologist or nurse will ask you a few questions to confirm you have been off blood thinners and to make sure we can proceed with the procedure. 
  • Please inform the technologist and/or physician of any allergies you may have before your procedure.
  • You will be asked to change into a hospital gown and will be given a locker for your belongings. It is best to leave any valuables or jewelry at home.
  • An IV will be started. 
  • The technologist will describe the procedure and then a radiologist will answer any questions you have before asking you to sign a consent for the procedure.

During Your Procedure

  • You will be asked to lie face down on the scanner table.
  • The table you are on will slide into the scanner. This process usually includes multiple scans, so you will likely slide into the scanner more than once. It is very important that you do not move.
  • The scanner is open at the back and the front, allowing you to see out. The technologist will always be able to see and hear you during your exam.
  • You will be asked to hold very still and at times to breath shallowly with no deep breaths that would change your position.
  • The exact location of the area of interest is identified and the area for incision is numbed.
  • The imaging physician will perform the biopsy and remove a tissue sample.
  • A small titanium marker clip will be placed to mark the area that was biopsied.
  • A pressure bandage and wrap will be applied after the procedure, as well as an ice pack.
  • The biopsy procedure usually takes approximately 60 to 90 minutes.

After Your Procedure

  • You will be taken to Mammography for films to be taken to document the placement of the biopsy clip or marker placed at the end of the MRI biopsy. 
  • You will be brought to our Imaging PACU/observation unit until about 1 hour after your procedure. A family member or friend can be with you in the PACU.
  • An imaging nurse will remove the IV, review post-biopsy instructions and answer any questions before you leave.
  • An imaging nurse will call you the next day to check on your recovery.
  • You may eat and drink as normal after leaving the center.
  • The pressure bandage can be removed the next morning. Please allow the Steri-strips to fall off on their own in three or four days.
  • You can wear a bra, but not an underwire bra, after the procedure.
  • Do not shower or bathe for 24 hours after your biopsy.
  • Do not take Aspirin or Ibuprofen for 48 hours after the biopsy.
  • Do not participate in strenuous activities for 48 hours.
  • You may experience some soreness and/or bruising, which can usually be alleviated with an over-the-counter pain reliever and by applying an ice pack to the biopsy site. 
  • The tissue sample will be sent to a laboratory for examination. Results from the test will be sent to your physician, usually within 48 hours.
  • Your physician will discuss the results with you and explain what they mean in relation to your health.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 310-423-8000.

The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full range of advanced imaging, both radiology and cardiology, as well as interventional radiology and interventional tumor (oncology) treatments to the greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Mid-Cities, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake and West Hollywood.