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Breast Health Center





Contact Breast Surgery:
Renaissance Building, floor 4
Phone: 202-243-5230
Fax: 202-243-5221
Contact Breast Imaging:
Renaissance Building, floor 4
Phone: 202-537-4545
Fax: 202-537-4505
Department Manager: 202-243-5238
Lead Technologist/ Imaging Navigator: 202-370-6592
An accurate biopsy is essential to understand and ultimately defeat breast cancer.  Sibley's Sullivan Center for Breast Health in Washington, DC has emerged as a national model in providing expert care using the most minimally invasive breast imaging and biopsy procedures possible. Many advanced breast biopsy techniques are available to patients at Sibley. Your physician will discuss options for your specific situation.

Specialized Techniques

Stereotactic Breast Biopsy

Stereotactic breast biopsies are performed by Sibley breast surgeons and dedicated breast radiologists. Stereotactic breast biopsy uses digital mammography to position the biopsy needle with pinpoint accuracy while the woman is comfortably lying down.  This kind of biopsy is performed when the breast lump is so small that it cannot be felt during an exam or if suspicious microcalcifications were seen on a mammogram. You will lie on a table on your stomach, with your breast dropping through an opening to allow for the breast to be biopsied. While the breast is compressed by mammography paddles, the image is projected on a computer screen. A special needle designed to obtain tissue samples is guided to the suspicious mass. Several samples will be taken and images will confirm that an adequate amount was removed for examination under the microscope. This procedure is performed by a radiologist.

Ultrasound-guided Breast Biopsy

Ultrasound-guided breast biopsy uses ultrasound to guide the biopsy needle into position. Its advantages are speed and comfortable positioning. All ultrasound-guided breast biopsies at Sibley are performed by our dedicated breast radiologists. This kind of breast biopsy is performed when the lump is palpable during an exam or if it is easily seen on an ultrasound. Using ultrasound to locate the mass, a large needle withdraws tissue samples for examination under the microscope.

MRI-Guided Biopsy

Dedicated breast radiologists have the greatest expertise in performing core biopsies with MRI guidance. During this kind of biopsy, your physician uses an MRI machine to get a precise reading on the location of the tumor. By doing so, your physician can make sure that he or she is pinpointing the tumor and removing enough tissue to get an accurate reading of the biopsy under the microscope.


Ensuring the accuracy of your pathology results is of utmost importance.  Knowing the exact type of breast cancer and the specifics of its prognostic factors is critical to creating a treatment plan that will provide you with the best opportunity for defeating this disease.
Our team of breast specialists includes pathology faculty members who specialize in breast cancer and have extensive experience evaluating and accurately classifying breast tissue specimens. Our pathologists are so trusted that it’s common for women to bring their slides from another facility to us for a second opinion. On occasion we discover abnormalities, including breast cancer, which may have been previously overlooked.
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