Ultrasound-guided needle localization is performed using ultrasound to temporarily place a thin wire in the exact location of the abnormality. This helps guide the surgeon to remove the area of concern.
During this procedure, the patient lies on her back on the ultrasound exam table. Ultrasound is used to locate the area of abnormality in the breast. The skin is cleansed with an antiseptic solution. Local anesthetic is injected into the skin and breast tissue to numb the area.
Using ultrasound guidance, the doctor places a hollow needle into the breast, directing it to the area of abnormality. A small amount of temporary blue dye is injected into the breast tissue (this aids the surgeon in visualizing the area during the operation). A very thin wire is then placed through the needle and the needle is removed.
Mammography images are taken to document positioning of the needle and both the ultrasound and mammogram images are sent with the patient to the operating room for the breast surgeon. The wire causes no pain and is removed when surgery is performed later the same day.
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