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Preoperative Surgical Localization

What is a needle/wire localization?

When a mammogram or ultrasound has identified an area of concern that cannot be felt by the surgeon then a needle/wire localization is the procedure used to help your surgeon find this area in your breast that needs to be removed. Before you go to surgery, the radiologist will place a small needle/wire next to the area of concern either with mammography or ultrasound depending on which modality it could best be visualized with. This enables your surgeon to accurately remove the area in question without removing too much normal breast tissue.

An x-ray image will be taken to confirm placement of the needle. In some cases the needle is removed and the wire is left in place, but usually the needle is left in place and the technologist will cover the end of the needle with a cup and tape it to your chest. You will then be sent with your images to the site that your surgeon has chosen for your surgery.

At the completion of surgery, the specimen will immediately be sent to our facility for an x-ray to ensure that the abnormality is indeed obtained in the specimen.

How to prepare

Wear a loose fitting shirt that buttons in the front.

Service Locations

Preoperative Surgical Localization is available at Alamogordo Imaging Center, Breast Imaging Center, X-Ray Associates at Farmington and X-Ray Associates at Santa Fe.

Preoperative Surgical Localization