A very small lesion in the breast detected on a screening mammogram or ultrasound that requires surgical removal and cannot be felt by the surgeon may require a hookwire localisation. In order for this type of lesion to be removed, it needs to be marked for the surgeon to be able to locate it during the operation.
- A small stainless steel wire is placed within the breast tissue to mark the lesion for the surgeon to remove.
- The procedure is performed either under mammographic (stereotactic) or ultrasound control to place the hookwire immediately adjacent to the abnormality.
- This procedure is usually performed a few hours prior to surgery.
- Following the removal of the abnormality, the tissue removed is x-rayed to confirm the abnormality was removed at the time of surgery. These x-rays are compared with the original mammogram and/or ultrasound images.
- The tissue specimen is sent to the pathologist for detailed pathology analysis.
A hookwire procedure take approximately 1 hour.