Stereotactic biopsy of the breast is a simple outpatient procedure performed, in most cases, to remove a suspicious microcalcification detected on screening mammography. Fortunetly, in 80 to 90% of cases, the microcalcification is benign. The biopsy procedure then provides 100% assurance of benignity.
In the lower percentage of cases that are positive by stereotactic biopsy, the area can then be localized prior to surgery and, in most cases, a simple lumpectomy of the breast performed.
In cases where the microcalcification is removed completely by the stereotactic mammotomy procedure, a small stainless steel clip is inserted for future reference on follow-up studies or, should the biopsy be positive, to localize the area prior to surgical excision.