Prior to your surgery, the radiologist will position the wire in your breast. Since you must be alert, sedation is usually not recommended. The technologist will take an x-ray of your breast and leave the room to develop the film. Your breast will remain compressed, and you will be asked to remain very still so that the position of the breast dos not move between the compression paddles. Small holes are in the paddles that allow the technologist to cleanse the area with alcohol prior to the radiologist placing a needle into the breast. Numbing medication may or may not be used because the compression of the breast decreases the sensation of the needle. The procedure is mildly uncomfortable.
Second pictures will confirm if the needle is located in the suspicious area. If the tip of the needle is not accurately placed, it will be repositioned and another picture taken. When the film confirms correct placement, the pressure paddles will be released and another picture taken at a different angle. This picture confirms the depth of the needle and accurate placement and may also determine if an adjustment in placement of the needle is needed.
Ultrasound placement differs from mammography localization in that compression of the breast is not needed. Needle placement is the same method.
When it is confirmed that the needle is positioned in the correct area, the radiologist will slide the wire out of the tip of the needle into your breast and then remove the needle, leaving the wire in place. The wire has a hooked tip that holds it in the area. Two final pictures are made to confirm the accuracy of the wire placement. The wire is taped to the outside of your breast. You will be able to feel the wire being inserted, but, after the placement, it is not painful. Copies of your films will be sent with you to surgery to enable the surgeon to locate the tip of the wire during the surgery.
©1999 EduCare Inc., By: Judy C. Kneece, RN, OCN 0512