Needle localization biopsy is a diagnostic procedure performed to evaluate a lump or other area of abnormal tissue in the breast. The biopsy is performed in two stages: During the first stage of the procedure, a needle is used to insert a very thin wire into the area to be evaluated, using x-ray or ultrasound to guide its placement. The wire helps the surgeon determine the specific location of the tissue that needs to be biopsied or sampled. During the second part of the procedure, the biopsy itself will be performed using local anesthesia and sedation to help the patient relax. The wire will be removed at that time.
Sentinel lymph node biopsy is a procedure that’s performed to determine if cancerous cells from the breast have spread to other areas of the body. When breast cancer spreads, it usually moves first to the lymph nodes, especially those near the armpit. The sentinel lymph node is at the first of these nodes, and a biopsy of this node may help patients avoid more involved lymph node dissection procedures. During the biopsy procedure, a special dye or tracer material is injected into an area near the cancer site, and imaging technology is used to trace the course of the dye as it moves out of the cancer site to the sentinel node. Once the node is identified, it can be removed through a small incision and evaluated under a microscope to look for the presence of cancer cells. When cancer cells are found, an axillary lymph node dissection may be performed to remove and evaluate six or more nodes.
Modified radical mastectomy is a procedure performed in women diagnosed with breast cancer. During the procedure, the breast tissue, nipple, and areola are removed, along with most of the lymph nodes in the armpit. It differs from a radical mastectomy, which also removes the muscle underlying the affected breast. A modified radical mastectomy leaves this muscle tissue intact. Women who undergo a modified radical mastectomy may have breast reconstruction surgery right away or may decide to delay reconstruction until a later date.
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