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Needle Localization Biopsy

Needle localization, also called wire localization, may be used if there is a small lump that is hard to find by touch, or if an area looks suspicious on the mammogram but cannot be felt. For needle localization, the breast is numbed with local anesthetic and a thin, hollow needle is put into the breast while X-rays are used to guide it to the suspicious area. A very thin wire is put in through the center of the needle. A small hook at the end of the wire keeps it in place. The hollow needle is then removed, and the wire is left to guide the surgeon to the abnormal area.

What to Expect

Like most biopsies, needle localization biopsies are usually done in an office or a clinic on an outpatient basis, meaning you will go home the same day as the procedure. Local anesthesia is used for some biopsies to prevent you from feeling any pain in your breast during the procedure.