Mammotome® Breast Biopsy Procedure
An alternative to traditional open surgical breast biopsy


Vol. 9, No. 3
December, 1999

  • External Beam Radiation Therapy Makes a Quantum Leap

  • Ambulatory Surgery Unit Expands

  • New Island Hospital Breaks Ground

  • Winthrop is Y2K Ready

  • Indigo Laser Relieves Symptoms of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis Study

  • Dr. Scott Named Heart Association President

  • New Interventional Radiology Suite Unveiled

  • Mammotome® Breast Biopsy Procedure

  • Drug May Help Prevent Lung and Brain Damage in Premature Babies

  • Winthrop Nurses Never Stop Learning

  • Clinical Trial for Pancreatic Cancer

  • Winthrop: A Center for Lifesaving Autologous Stem Cell Transplants

  • Carnival in Venice Benefits Winthrop

  • John Broder Named Businessperson of the Year

  • Yuletide Ball

  • Winthrop’s Ninth Annual Flu Immunization Program Reached 1,500 Senior Citizens

  • Teens for Tots/Teen Angels’ Donation to Child Life Program

  • Winthrop’s Deserving Volunteers Receive Awards

  • Volunteers Needed at Winthrop

  • Visiting Scholar from Taiwan Studies at Winthrop

  • For Long Island Children who don't have Health Insurance

  • Copyright

    Back to Publications


  • Steven Perlmutter, MD, Faculty Attending, Department of Radiology and Malvina Bardwill, Lead Mammography Technologist, display the Mammotome¨ system's probe. Technologists, surgeons, and radiologists have undergone thorough training in the new equipment and techniques.

    More than one million American women require breast biopsies annually. Fortunately, about 80% turn out to be benign. Nevertheless, the patient has suffered anxiety and usually retains a visible scar.

    Now provided at Winthrop, the minimally invasive, technologically advanced Mammotome® Breast Biopsy System provides many women with an alternative to open surgical breast biopsy. It can also enhance the accuracy of the diagnosis of early stage breast cancer.

    The entire procedure requires only about 60 minutes, and is performed on an outpatient basis, with local anesthesia. The Mammotome® probe is inserted only once, minimizing the cutting and removal of surrounding healthy tissue. No stitches are required.

    The system is attached to a stereotactic imaging table outfitted with X-ray equipment, capable of taking X-rays from two angles. The patient lies comfortably, face down on the table, which is designed with an opening for the breast. Once the suspicious tissue is located, the local anesthetic is administered. Then, the computerized imaging system guides the probe in its accurate, single insertion. The Mammotome® then gently draws a specimen into a sample chamber and readies it for analysis in Winthrop’s Pathology Laboratory.

    Are You Interested in Becoming a Radiologic Technologist?
    Winthrop’s Program of Radiography is now accepting applications for the class starting in September 2000. Stop by Room 127 of the Professional Residence Building on the Winthrop campus for an application packet, or call (516) 663-2536.
    Patients in need of a follow-up excision benefit greatly from the Mammotome® system’s ability to precisely “mark” the biopsy site. The mammographer simply inserts a tiny, three millimeter, MRI-safe metal clip to permanently mark the exact site of uncertain or suspicious tissue. The clip is inserted with a flexible catheter and introducer, and cannot be felt by human touch. Importantly, the clip will appear in an X-ray. If further surgery is needed, the mammographer can guide the surgeon to the exact site containing the clip, which helps the surgeon to conserve healthy tissue.

    Another advantage lies in the Mammotome® system’s ability to extract a larger core of tissue than a standard core needle biopsy. The more generously-sized tissue sample heightens the accuracy of laboratory analysis.

    “Because the equipment is totally digital, the procedure is performed much faster,” said Steven Perlmutter, MD, Faculty Attending, Department of Radiology. “With Mammotome®, there is no waiting for films at each step of the procedure.”

    For further information, call Stephanie Musso, RN, MSN, Clinical Specialist, Winthrop’s Breast Health Program, at (516) 663-8377 or 1-888-53-WOMEN.



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