Needle localization is performed in order to assist in locating areas of calcifications or density in the breast that are seen on the mammogram but cannot be felt on physical examination.
A certified and trained Breast Imaging Technologist will position you on a chair so that your breast rests on a small platform. The breast will be compressed, which is uncomfortable, but allows the radiologist to obtain a clear picture. The radiologist will insert a fine needle into the breast pointing toward the abnormality. You will not require any anesthesia for this. Inside the needle is a very thin wire with a hook on the end which will act as a guide to the surgeon. A mammogram is taken to ensure that the needle is in the correct position. Sometimes the position of the needle may require adjustment. Once the needle is in the correct position, you will be taken to the pre-operative area in the surgery suite.
Your physician will give you detailed instructions on how to prepare for your needle localization. Please inform your physician of any medications you are taking as well as any allergies you may have. Also inform your physician regarding a recent illness or other medical conditions.
Women should inform their physician if they are pregnant, or if there is any possibility they may be pregnant.
Radiation Dose: Special care is taken during X-Ray examinations to use of the lowest radiation dose possible while producing the best images for evaluation.