Wire Localisation

What is Breast Wire localisation?

This procedure is performed when abnormality or some calcification is seen on your mammogram (breast X-ray) and it is too small to be felt by you and your Doctor. The Radiologist places a very fine wire in the breast to localise the area for the Surgeon.


This procedure will take 30 - 40 minutes.

Please wear a shirt and trousers or skirt.


At Anglesea Women's Health, a Radiographer (X-ray technician) and a Radiologist (Doctor specialising in medical Imaging) will explain the procedure to you.  After the Radiologist reviewed your images, the Radiographer will position your breast and it will be compressed. You will be in this position for a approximately 15 - 20 minutes, so let the radiographer know if the pressure is too uncomfortable.

The Radiologist will prepare the area with some liquid skin antiseptic. If you are allergic to iodine, please let us know at the start of the examination.

After local anaesthetic has been injected, a fine needle will be inserted into the breast and placed near the area that the surgeon wants to locate. X-rays from both the side and the top of the breast will be taken to check the positioning of this needle.

When the needle is correctly located, a fine wire will be released through the needle and the needle withdrawn. This piece of wire will stay in the breast to mark the area for the surgeon.

The wire has a small hook at the end and this keeps it secure. When the localisation procedure is completed the end of the wire is secured onto your breast with a dressing.  The wire will stay in place with normal movement - you shouldn't swing your arm vigorously, but otherwise with normal movement it is unlikely to change position.

Following the procedure you will head to surgery

Following the excision the area is x-rayed, and on to pathology. The results will be sent to your surgeon.

Contact the call centre on 07 839 4909 or 0800 MAMMO1 ( 626 661). Normally your breast surgeon would arrange this appointment for you, to suit his or her surgical list.

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Postal Address: P O Box 262, Hamilton
Street Address: Gate 2, 11 Thackeray Street, Hamilton
Phone: (07) 839 4909
Free Phone: 0800 426 723
Fax: (07) 839 5780
Email: info.hamrad@i-med.co.nz

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