Wire localisation biopsy
Investigations have shown an abnormality in your breast that
As it cannot be felt the surgeon will need to rely on a small
guide wire to locate it accurately.
The wire will be inserted under x-ray or ultrasound guidance
just before your surgery. Local anaesthetic will be used to numb
the area and once in position the thin wire will be taped to your
skin to stop it shifting. There may be a delay of 2 -3 hours before
going through to theatre.
The operation is performed as a day case procedure and takes
about 45 -60 minutes.
You will require a short general anaesthetic or a combination of
local anaesthetic and sedation. Further anaesthetic details are
presented on a seperate sheet.
A 2 to 5 cm long cut is made in the skin. Wherever
possible it is placed in a position around the nipple or in the
fold under the breast to produce a good cosmetic result.
The amount of tissue removed is usually small and seldom causes
any change in the shape or size of the breast.
The specimen may be sent back to x-ray and a further film
taken to check that the abnormal area has been located and removed.
It is then sent on to the laboratory for analysis.
The cut is closed with a dissolving stitch and a plastic
dressing is placed over the wound.
There will be a firm white pressure dressing over the breast,
which can be removed after 24 hours. Beneath it is the clear
plastic adhesive dressing. This is waterproof and you may bath or
shower as normal. Leave it on until your follow up visit.
Recovery is quick, and you should be ready to leave hospital 2 -
3 hours later. You will need someone to drive you home. If you live
out of town however, it is wise to consider staying in Auckland
Expect to be up and about by the next day and you should be back
to all usual activities (running, aerobics etc) within two weeks.
Try to avoid unnecessary jolting or bumping, as the breast may be
tender for a while.
You may notice some bruising and this will settle over a couple
of weeks .Taking arnica may help to speed this up.
Scar tissue sometimes causes lumpiness at the biopsy site and
can take a few months to settle down.
There is only a 1-2% chance of a complication following this
Bleeding causes swelling and pain within a few hours of surgery,
and if severe may require going back into theatre.
Wound infection occasionally develops five to ten days after
surgery causing redness, tenderness and perhaps a fever, and will
require a course of antibiotics.
Very occasionally (In 1% of cases) the procedure fails for
technical reasons and the abnormality cannot be located. In this
situation you will need further x-rays a few weeks later to review
the situation and the procedure may need to be repeated.
You will be seen for a follow-up consultation about one week
later to check on the wound and discuss your results. Please ensure
that you have this appointment. If you have any concerns, please
phone the clinic, or contact your surgeon.