What is Breast Localization?
As preparation for surgery to remove breast disease, you or a loved one
may be asked by your surgeon to undergo breast localization at the Breast
Diagnostic Center. This procedure utilizes imaging to mark the edges of
the tumor or lesion to be removed - enabling the greatest degree of surgical
accuracy and aids removal of the tumor or lesion with the smallest possible incision.
Not every surgery to remove breast disease requires breast localization--whether
or not breast localization is necessary is determined by the surgeon.
The most common procedure requiring breast localization is lumpectomy.
Breast localization provides important guidance to the surgeon and makes
sure that even small lesions can be located and safely removed with the
smallest possible incision.
What To Wear
The procedure is done about three hours prior to surgery and is typically
the first procedure you or your loved one will undergo on the day of surgery.
If you are scheduled for breast localization, you will be given a specific
time to report to the Breast Diagnostic Center on the day of surgery.
Since the needle localization requires you to undress from the waist up
then re-dress for transport to the hospital, is is suggested that you
wear clothing that is loose fitting and easily taken on and off. Also,
since the wires protrude somewhat from the breast and you will not be
able to wear a bra after they are inserted, it is recommended that you
wear clothing that allows you to feel sufficiently covered.
Breast Localization Procedure
Breast localization involves the use of mammography or ultrasound guidance
- and in some cases, MRI - to locate the area of breast disease. One or
more very small wires are then gently inserted through the breast skin
and into the affected area. The wires are bendable and will be covered
with a dressing before you leave the Breast Diagnostic Center. After the
wires are inserted, a final mammogram is taken to give the surgeon an
image of the breast and wire placement in relation to the breast lesion
to be surgically removed. These wires stay inserted in the breast until
they are removed by the surgeon to help the surgeon determine precisely
where to make the incision and the area of tissue to removed.
After the breast localization is complete, you will be transported via
hospital mini-bus from the Breast Diagnostic Center to the pre-operative
surgery area in the hospital. Any loved ones who are accompanying the
patient may also ride on the mini-bus to the hospital.
If you have any questions about whether or not you will be having breast
localization, or any questions about the breast surgery that is planned,
ask your surgeon or contact the
Breast Navigator RNs at the Breast Diagnostic Center or the Advance Practice Nurses at Torrance Memorial
Cancer Resource Center at 310-517-4665.