Hospital offers state-of-art stereotactic breast biopsy

CLOSER LOOK — Linda Lyon, RN, CBPN-IC, nurse navigator for The Breast Center at Rome Memorial Hospital, consults with a patient inside the state-of-the-art stereotactic breast biopsy room at the center. The room features a Hologic MultiCare¿ Platinum prone breast biopsy table, which the hospital purchased for its diagnostic precision and adjustable cushions which aid in patient comfort. (Photo submitted)

Rome Memorial Hospital has added state-of-the-art stereotactic breast biopsy technology to its Women’s Imaging Center for the diagnosis of breast disease.

When a mammogram or other exam detects a suspicious area in the breast, a breast biopsy provides a sample of tissue that doctors use to diagnose and identify possible abnormalities in the breast.

"When a breast biopsy is recommended, your doctor will help guide you to the best option for you," said John Restivo, M.D., radiologist and chairman of the hospital’s Medical Imaging Department. There are several types of biopsy procedures available, including stereotactic, ultrasound and MRI-guided core needle biopsies, as well as surgical biopsies.

"The standard of care is to use the most minimally invasive procedure possible," Dr. Restivo explained. "Stereotactic breast biopsy is the preferred method of biopsy for areas of the breast that appear abnormal on a mammogram."

The hospital selected the new Hologic MultiCare¿ Platinum prone breast biopsy table for its diagnostic precision and patient comfort, according to Sharon Carson, R.T. (R) (M), director of Medical Imaging.

"Undergoing a breast biopsy can cause a tremendous amount of anxiety. So, we wanted to make the procedure as comfortable as possible," Carson said. "We purchased the advanced comfort package, which includes adjustable padding for us to position patients of all sizes so we can make them comfortable and put them at ease."

"We are the first in the area to offer this advanced level of comfort for patients undergoing stereotactic breast biopsies," Carson said.

Guided by mammogram images, the radiologist inserts a needle into the area where abnormal cells are located and extracts samples of the tissue for testing. Local anesthetic is used to numb the area prior to the procedure. Dr. Restivo said that complications from a stereotactic breast biopsy are minimal, and patients who have undergone the procedure report that they find it less painful than some dental procedures.

"Mammography detects tiny calcifications within a breast and with stereotactic biopsy we now have come full circle in the capability to locate and biopsy areas of interest using mammographic technology," said Linda Lyon, RN, CBPN-IC, nurse navigator for The Breast Center at Rome Memorial Hospital. "The procedure is less invasive, highly accurate and a small marker can be placed in the breast at the questionable area for continued evaluation."

At the Women’s Imaging Center, the team involved with a patient’s initial consultation is the same team with them all the way through the biopsy procedure. Lyon meets with patients before the procedure to tell them exactly what to expect. The mammographer helps position the patient for the procedure so that they are as comfortable as possible. The radiologist who located the lesion on the diagnostic mammogram performs the biopsy procedure. Then Lyon follows up with a call to the patient after a day or two.

"Now that we’ve added stereotactic breast biopsy to the Women’s Imaging Center, there is no breast lesion that we are not able to attempt to biopsy," said Dr. Restivo.