Saint Louise Regional Hospital Now Has Minimally Invasive Breast Biopsies

The procedure takes less than 15 minutes and it is 'less painful compared to other biopsy methods,' a hospital spokeswoman said.

Saint Louise Regional Hospital in Gilroy is now offering a minimally invasive breast biopsy procedure, a hospital representative announced this week.

The procedure is billed as an alternative to traditional open surgical biopsy, and it is "simple, safe, and accurate," Jasmine H. Nguyen, senior executive director of physician and public relations for the hospital said.

The minimally invasive procedure takes less than 15 minutes and it is also "less painful compared to other biopsy methods and only requires local anesthesia," Nguyen said.

"During the procedure, a woman lies on a table while the radiologist places a probe through a small incision about the size of a match head," Nguyen said. "Using ultrasound or stereotactic x-ray imaging, the radiologist can accurately pinpoint the suspicious breast lesion and subsequently obtain a tissue sample through the probe, which is attached to gentle suction."

A small adhesive bandage is required to cover the incision, and patients can return to normal activity shortly thereafter, Nguyen said.

Breast cancer is the second-most common cancer among American women after skin cancers, Nguyen said. About 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.

The American Cancer Society estimates in 2013 approximately 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women, and about 39,620 women will die from breast cancer, Nguyen said.

"It is fairly common for a suspicious abnormality to be detected by mammography or breast ultrasound during a woman's lifetime," Conway Lien, MD, medical director of diagnostic imaging at Saint Louise Regional Hospital said.

"The majority of these are eventually found to be benign (non-cancerous) but the only way to determine this is by having a biopsy," Lien said. "Vacuum assisted stereotactic or ultrasound guided core biopsy at Saint Louise offers a safe alternative option that is minimally invasive and accurate."

Patients should consult with their physicians to determine if this procedure is the best option for them, Nguyen said.

Saint Louise Regional Hospital is billed as a 93-bed, not-for profit community hospital that serves communities of south Santa Clara County and north San Benito County. Services include cardiac care, maternity and mother-baby care, emergency medicine, sports medicine, arthritis care and joint replacement, wound care and hyperbaric medicine and urgent care.

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