Wire Localization

Abnormalities that require surgical biopsy, and are not performed at the Olympia Women's Center, may need guidance. Wire localization can be performed using mammography, ultrasound or MRI. The Radiologist inserts a very thin wire into the breast in the area of the abnormality. The surgeon then uses this wire as a guide, following it to remove suspicious lesions that cannot be felt. Wire Localization makes surgery more accurate, faster, and safer for the patient. The needle is removed in the operating room. Tissue that has been extracted is then imaged to assure that the target was successfully and completely removed.

Your Wire Localization

For your Wire Localization appointment, you should plan on being in the center for about an hour. The procedure itself will only take about 20 to 30 minutes. Using either mammography or ultrasound techniques, the breast abnormality is located.

Once the abnormality is located, the radiologist will clean the identified area and inject an anesthetic into the skin and deeper tissues to numb the area. Then using mammography or ultrasound, the radiologist will use a small needle to insert a guide wire next to the area of concern.

When the wire is in place, a mammogram will be performed to document the position of the wire. You will take a copy of these images with you to your scheduled surgery. The wire is designed to be held securely in place until your surgical procedure is performed and the radiologist will communicate with the surgeon before and after your procedure.

How to Prepare for Your Procedure

Please be sure to follow any surgical prep guidelines as instructed by your surgeon.

Please wear a comfortable, loose fitting two-piece outfit. A gown will be provided as you will be asked to remove your top prior to the procedure. Please refrain from wearing any powder, perfume, deodorant and/or lotion on your underarms and breasts prior to the procedure.

What to Expect After Your Procedure

Following your Wire Localization, you will go directly to your scheduled surgery with a copy of images documenting the Wire Localization. The surgical staff will give you aftercare instructions specific to your surgical procedure.