About The Breast Center
The Breast Center at The Surgery Center of Huntsville is a state-of-the-art facility specifically designed to promote excellence in both patient care and outpatient surgery. Since its opening in 1997, The Breast Center has performed more than 5,000 minimally invasive breast biopsies, almost 100 biopsies every month. The Breast Center and key staff have been recognized nationally for excellence in the field of breast cancer diagnosis.To help make an early diagnosis of breast cancer, which may significantly impact outcomes, we use stereotactic- and ultrasound-directed techniques that produce exceptionally low complication rates and excellent diagnostic results.
We have other state-of-the-art facilities at The Surgery Center of Huntsville. In addition to The Breast Center, we have sixteen general operating rooms, four Endoscopy Center colonoscopy special procedure rooms, four Eye Center procedure suites and a Pain Management Center procedure suite. We also have two spacious waiting rooms for family and friends and an Extended Care Center for those patients who need up to 23-hours to stabilize before going home. Our staff and facilities were designed with your complete care and comfort in mind.
Your physician has explained that the results of a breast ultrasound or mammogram have identified an area in your breast that should be explored through a biopsy. A fairly simple procedure, a breast biopsy is done by guiding a needle into the tissue and extracting a sample, or by cutting into the breast and removing an abnormality for further study. The sample is then sent to pathology. Early diagnoses and treatment are a major factor in treating any type of cancer, especially breast cancer.
At The Breast Center, we have the equipment to support more than one type of biopsy, but the decision about what procedure is best for you will be made by your physician. He or she will decide if an abnormality can be removed or sampled for study based on how it feels or what can be seen on your mammogram or ultrasound. Your general health and any medications you are taking may also influence that decision.
If your physician chooses to do a needle-biopsy, The Breast Center has a state-of-the-art vacuum-assisted Mammotome® Biopsy System. This system provides for maximum patient comfort while giving your physician advanced imagery to help guide the needle into place for accuracy, as well as the flexibility to take a sample from more than one abnormality if necessary.
STEREOTACTIC MAMMOTOME BIOPSY
This procedure involves first taking two stereo x-rays, so called because they are images of the same area from different angles. With the help of a computer, these images are then used to determine the exact positioning of the biopsy needle and the physician positions the biopsy needle for the correct angle of entry. Once the breast is numbed, the needle is inserted and another set of stereo x-rays is taken to ensure proper needle placement. Tissue samples are retrieved for pathology and the procedure is complete.
ULTRASOUND-GUIDED MAMMOTOME BIOPSY
This procedure involves using ultrasound to guide placement and insertion of the biopsy needle. Once the breast is numbed locally, the physician uses ultrasound technology to ensure proper placement of the biopsy needle. Tissue samples are then retrieved for pathology and the procedure is complete.
EXCISIONAL (OPEN) BREAST BIOPSY
This procedure is performed in a general operating room under general anesthesia. The breast abnormality is surgically removed and sent to pathology. Some excisional biopsies are also pre-operatively wire localized under x-ray stereotactical or ultra-sound guidance.
About Your Biopsy
Once you have checked in and completed any financial paper work, you will be escorted to the procedure room and prepared for your biopsy. You can expect the following things to happen:
- We will review your medical history.
- We will give you instructions about your biopsy.
- We will ask you to sign your Operative Permit.
We do everything we can to get you in and out as fast as possible, but once you are in our care, you will be there for the full amount of time required to ensure an excellent outcome.
You may find the breast biopsy suite to be cool. The suite is temperature controlled to establish ideal conditions for medical procedures.
We will respect your dignity as we work to ensure that your biopsy is conducted promptly, accurately and safely. When the procedure is complete, you will have a bandage on your breast. A staff member will be with you until you are ready to leave.
Your family should be available for the Post-Op conference.
Immediately following your procedure, your physician will most likely go to The Breast Center waiting room to update your family. It is your family’s responsibility to be available for this conference.
Following Your Biopsy
Remember that a biopsy is an invasive procedure. It is very important that you be gentle with yourself for a few days after your procedure. Be sure to follow any specific instructions given to you by your physician, as well as the following general guidelines, upon your release from The Breast Center:
- If you have received medication during your biopsy you must have someone drive you home from The Breast Center.
- Avoid strenuous exercise or activities for at least 24-hours after your procedure.
- Wear a tight fitting bra — even while sleeping — to decrease swelling and bruising.
- If you are experiencing discomfort, take over-thecounter medication as directed, or whatever your physician has prescribed for pain.
- Do not take aspirin for 48-hours following your procedure to minimize the risk of bleeding.
- If you have one, you can take your pressure dressing off the morning after your biopsy.
- Do not remove your steri-strips or tegaderm dressing for at least 4 days following your biopsy.
- Although you may shower or bathe the morning following your procedure, do not submerge your breast in water for at least 5-7 days.
- If you have excessive pain, bleeding or fever, contact your physician immediately.
Remember, it is very likely that you will have additional questions once you get home and results from any tests may take several days to process. Therefore, it is a very good idea to schedule a follow up appointment with your physician a few days after your procedure.
If you have any questions after you have left The Breast Center, you must call your physician for answers. If you have any serious complications, call 911 or go to the emergency room at the hospital of your choice immediately. Do not call or return to The Breast Center because we do not have staff physicians, nor are we equipped to provide additional treatment or medical care.
Call 256-533-4888 to Pre-register.
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Do Not Eat or Drink Anything After 11:00PM the Evening Before.
Bring Your Insurance Card and Photo ID.