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There are different ways to determine whether an abnormality spotted on a mammogram is breast cancer.

A stereotactic biopsy is one of those procedures.

A stereotactic guided biopsy uses a mammogram to help locate an abnormality that needs to be sampled. It’s typically used when something is spotted on a mammogram but can’t be picked up on an ultrasound.

For this procedure, you will be asked to uncover the breast. You will lie face-down on the biopsy table or possibly sit in the upright unit. Your breast will be numbed and then held in place while the biopsy is performed.

The doctor may make a small cut at the area that needs to be biopsied. Special mammographic images will be used to locate the area and several samples will be taken. A metal clip will be left behind in order to identify the area that was sampled.

Once the procedure is complete, a bandage will be applied to the site – the samples will be sent to the lab and you will be given an ice pack to control the swelling.