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About Image Guided Biopsies

An image guided biopsy is generally performed when an abnormal mass or lump has been found in an organ or body part.

An abnormal mass or lump occurs frequently – but not exclusively – in bone, abdomen, pelvis, and lymph nodes or in organs like the thyroid, liver, kidney, or lungs. A biopsy is the most definitive way to determine if the abnormal tissue is cancerous. Imaging studies alone usually cannot provide a certain diagnosis on which to decide treatment options. During a biopsy, a small amount of tissue is removed from the abnormal area with a needle so a pathologist can examine the material for cancerous (malignant) cells. Radiologists use image guidance (ultrasound or CT) in performing biopsies to obtain tissue from the right spot and to avoid injuring important nearby body parts.

Several image guided biopsy procedures are available.

Most of them can be performed on an outpatient basis using local anesthetic. Conscious sedation can also be used when necessary. These biopsies allow a radiologist to access hard to reach areas of the body without surgery, but with the same or even better accuracy than a surgical biopsy. Radiology Imaging Associates’ radiologists have great success in precisely sampling any mass in the body that can be seen with imaging technology. The specific type of biopsy chosen by your doctor will depend on the location of the lump and other circumstances.

Image Guided vs. Surgical Biopsies

Reasons for choosing an image guided biopsy rather than a surgical biopsy include:

  • Smaller incision
  • No stitches
  • No scar
  • Shorter procedure
  • Minimal bruising
  • No or minimal cosmetic disfigurement
  • Less expensive
  • Faster results


Procedure Locations

The procedure is performed at the following RIA partner hospitals in the Denver, Colorado area:

  • The Medical Center of Aurora
  • Littleton Hospital
  • Lutheran Medical Center
  • Porter Adventist Hospital
  • Sky Ridge Medical Center
  • Swedish Medical Center


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