St. Anthony Regional Hospital is constantly striving to increase patient service offerings, making medical procedures less invasive and diagnosis easier for the people of west central Iowa. This year, the hospital did just that with the addition of Surgeon Patricia Teschke, M.D., who can perform breast needle biopsies for women and men with abnormal findings.
“In the past, we would have referred patients to Ames, Des Moines or Omaha for a needle biopsy,” said Pathologist Jedd Hagen, M.D., West Central Pathology at St. Anthony. “Or, our team would have done an excisional biopsy, a more invasive surgical procedure, that requires removing a golf ball-sized portion of the breast. A needle biopsy allows Dr. Teschke to use a small needle to gather tissue from the identified area. From there, we examine the tissue to determine whether the mass is malignant or benign.”
According to Lori Pietig, St. Anthony Radiology Director, if an abnormality is identified either on a mammogram or ultrasound, Michael Soe, M.D., of Iowa Radiology at St. Anthony, determines if the patient needs a short-term follow-up with diagnostic imaging or if a needle biopsy is necessary.
Once a biopsy is ordered, Dr. Teschke performs the minimally invasive, outpatient procedure using local anesthesia. Ultrasound technology is used to guide the needle to the abnormality for sampling. Dr. Teschke may also place a marker clip to identify the area in case surgery is needed in the future. This clip will help guide the surgeon for accurate tissue removal. The length of the procedure varies depending on the size and placement of the lesion, but typically takes 30 to 90 minutes to complete.
“By offering needle biopsies at St. Anthony, we allow patients the opportunity to get an appointment quickly in a hospital close to home,” Pietig said. “Our team is there with the patient, in a familiar environment, from day one. The patient doesn’t have to go through multiple work-ups for treatment if surgery is needed; we already have all of the imaging information we need, and a full spectrum of services and qualified medical providers to help our patients through the process, from start to finish.”
Biopsy results can take up to seven days. If pathology determines the cells are benign, the patient may not need any further medical treatment. However, patients who are at a higher risk for cancer may still need to undergo an excisional biopsy to double check the abnormality. If the cells are malignant, the St. Anthony team, including radiation and medical oncology, is pulled together to determine a path forward and take immediate action.
“Very few hospitals of our size have the capability to provide this needle biopsy procedure,” Dr. Teschke said. “It reduces the number of surgical procedures and allows all health care providers involved in the treatment plan to discuss care prior to surgery, ensuring everyone is on the same page and the patient understands the process in the road to treating cancer.”
St. Anthony Regional Hospital accepts patients who have received an abnormal mammogram reading from any health care provider. Discuss a referral to St. Anthony Surgical Group with your doctor as a possible alternative to traveling to a major metropolitan area for service; or, if it’s time for your routine mammogram, schedule your appointment with St. Anthony Radiology to ensure you have access to a full spectrum of care, should you need it.
- breast biopsy
- cancer services
- patricia teschke