Needle localization, also called breast localization, is a procedure that helps your doctor evaluate a suspicious area that is found on a mammogram, but cannot be felt during an exam.
The tissue in that area is removed and examined in order for the doctor to determine what types of cells are present. The preoperative breast localization procedure involves a radiologist placing a wire into the breast that will help the surgeon find the suspicious area during a breast biopsy procedure. A series of X-rays will be taken of your breast with the wire in place to determine that it is in the correct location. This procedure,requires only local anesthesia.
What to Expect From Needle Localization
On the day of your scheduled preoperative wire localization, be sure to wear slacks, a removable top and refrain from wearing any jewelry. Be sure that a family member or friend accompanies you.
When you arrive, you will be asked to undress, from the waist up, and to put on a mammography cape. One of our skilled and certified female mammographers will place you, as comfortably as possible, on the stereotactic table or mammography unit. A small amount of breast compression is needed to take a clear image of your breast.
Once the area is identified, a radiologist begins by injecting local anesthesia. After this injection you may experience a "stinging" sensation, which will quickly subside. The radiologist then places a wire guide into the breast and takes more X-rays to be sure the wire is placed in the area to be biopsied. Once it is determined that the wire is in the correct location, the guide is removed and the wire stays in place. You may be able to feel the wire being inserted, however, there is no pain after placement. A small dressing is applied. The whole procedure takes approximately 30 minutes.
UPMC's Breast Health Center offers needle localization in Williamsport, PA, and the surrounding areas.