Breast imaging is a subspecialty of diagnostic radiology. It involves a range of imaging procedures using low dose x-ray or ultrasound, sometimes both methods are used.

Mammotome Biopsy

Why do I need a Mammotome Biopsy? 

The Radiologist has detected an abnormality on your screening mammogram which cannot be seen on ultrasound.  For this reason, the only way to further diagnose the lesion is to either do an open surgical biopsy or a mammotome biopsy.

The Mammotome biopsy is a less painful, less invasive way to obtain the tissue sample needed for diagnosis.  This procedure requires much less recovery time than surgical biopsy and there is no significant scarring to the breast.

Will it hurt?

The local anaesthetic will sting initially with the area subsequently becoming numb.  This will help to ensure there is little or no pain during the procedure.  It can be likened to going to the Dentist where after the local you usually only feel pressure. However, it should be noted that as individuals each of us has a slightly different pain threshold. 

How large will the incision in my skin be?

The Mammotome biopsy probe is inserted into the breast through a 1cm incision. 

The incision does not require stitches, just a small adhesive bandage.

Will I get a scar from the Mammotome biopsy?

There will be minimal scarring – similar to a cut in most cases.

Will I be able to resume my normal activities after the biopsy?

 You should feel fine after the procedure.  The Nurse will recommend you take some paracetemol (NOT aspirin) before the local anaesthetic wears off.  We also recommend that strenuous exercise or activity be avoided for at least 24 hours

Is the tissue marker safe?

Yes.  The tissue marker is made from surgical grade stainless steel.  It is very small and you will not feel it once it is inserted.

Will I be conscious during the procedure?

Yes.  You will be sitting up and only local anaesthesia is used.

Do I need to bring my referral?

Yes, we are unable to do your scan without a referral. If you forget to bring your referral, we will have to reschedule your appointment.

I have a referral for another imaging provider, can I have my test at Grampians Health Ballarat Radiology?

Yes, we accept all referrals/requests.

Where do I find Radiology?

Radiology is located behind the Emergency Department, closest to the Mair Street entrance of Grampians Health Ballarat.

Is there a drop-off area and what parking is there available?

Yes, there is a drop-off and pick-up zone available within the multi-storey car park (there is no fee for drivers using the drop-off zone and staying less than 30 minutes).

Do I need to make an appointment for Breast Imaging?

Yes, bookings are essential.

How long does it take for my results to come through?

Please allow up to 2 working days for non-urgent results to be sent to your referring doctor, we are unable to give your results to you directly

Ballarat Base Hospital


1 Drummond Street North
Ballarat VIC 3350


03 5320 4270 or 03 5320 4271

Opening Hours

Monday to Friday 8.30am - 5.00pm
Emergency Radiology is available through the Emergency Department outside these times.

Have something to tell us? We welcome all feedback from patients, family members or carers. Tell us more.