McFarland Clinic

Breast Imaging: Mammography and Stereotactic Biopsy

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Schedule Online

Online scheduling for select appointment types in Ames and Marshalltown. Please call for other locations and appointment types.

Mammography Teams


  • 3-D Digital Mammography available in Ames, Carroll and Marshalltown.

McFarland Clinic mammograms are read by an accredited radiologist and analyzed by computer aided detection (CAD). CAD assists the radiologist by giving a computerized second review of your mammograms to draw attention to potential areas of concern.

Stereotactic Biopsy

  • Available in Ames.

Stereotactic breast biopsy uses mammography to help locate a breast abnormality.  A tissue sample will be removed for examination under a microscope. The biopsy is less invasive than a surgical biopsy and allows evaluation of calcifications or tiny masses that are not visible on ultrasound. You will receive a phone call from the McFarland Clinic Breast Center to schedule your appointment and go over important information regarding this procedure.

The Exam

During the biopsy, you will sit in a special chair. The technologist will position your breast similar to a mammogram. The Radiologist will use a local anesthetic to numb the biopsy area. A small incision will be made, and a vacuum assisted needle will advance into the breast to the site of abnormality.

We will take four to six samples of the abnormality and place a tiny ceramic marker, about the size of a comma, at the site when we are finished. Pressure is held on the breast tissue to stop any bleeding that occurs, and a steri-strip will close the incision site without sutures. This procedure will take approximately one hour from the time you arrive to finish.

We ask you to minimize activities for about 24 hours after the biopsy--no heavy lifting or arm movement.


Your results will be available to your provider within 48 hours. The Breast Center staff will help arrange that appointment.

Things to Know Before Your Stereotactic Biopsy

  • Most prescribed medications can be taken the morning of the breast biopsy. You will be asked to discontinue the use of any blood thinners including aspirin and aspirin-like products (such as Bayer and Excedrin) prior to your biopsy.  
  • You will be able to drive to and from McFarland Clinic the day of your biopsy. Family members or friends may accompany you on your visit, but they are not allowed in the biopsy room.
  • Please wear a tight fitting bra. This will help with the compression bandage placed on your incision site and will hold in place the ice pack that we send home with you.
  • Wear comfortable, two-piece clothing. Avoid wearing light colored clothing.
  • Eat a light breakfast/snack before the procedure.
  • If you have questions or concerns before the day of your biopsy, please call the Imaging Department at McFarland Clinic: 515-239-4436.
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