Needle localization (also called wire localization) is a procedure done before breast cancer surgery to find where the breast abnormality is (The wire marks the spot) so that the surgeon knows exactly what tissue to take out.
This procedure is done by mammogram or ultrasound guidance. A ﬁne, thread-like wire is placed as close as possible to the area of concern. With the wire in place, the surgeon will know where the tissue is that has to come out.
If you’re having the procedure done somewhere other than where you’re having the biopsy or surgery, please have someone drive you to the hospital where you’re having the biopsy or breast surgery afterwards. Don’t drive yourself. You can wear your shoulder seatbelt—it won’t move the wire in your breast.
Please wear a top that closes at the front to make it easier to dress after the wire is in position and so you don’t have to lift your arm after the wire is in position.
Ask your surgeon when you should make an appointment to go over your results. Make the appointment before you go home.
Current as of: May 2, 2018
Author: Women’s Health, Alberta Health Services
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