What is a Breast Localization?

Localization is the placement of a thin wire or a radioactive seed into the breast in order to help the surgeon locate the area that needs to be removed. The wire or seed is placed by an experienced radiologist using an imaging device (such as a mammogram, ultrasound, or MRI) for guidance.

Not all breast abnormalities can be felt during a physical exam. Some abnormalities can only be seen on a mammogram, ultrasound, or MRI because they are small or located deep in the tissue. Therefore, the wire or seed acts as a guide to assist your surgeon in finding the concerning area.

When is the Breast Localization Performed?

A wire is placed on the day of surgery in the Radiology Department right before your surgical procedure. A seed can be placed on the same day or up to five days beforehand. Even though the seed is radioactive, it only contains very small amounts of radioactive material.

What Can I Expect During the Localization?

Do not apply deodorant, lotions, or talc to your skin before coming to the hospital. The procedure itself will involve the following steps:

  • Images are taken to determine the best angle at which to introduce the needle or seed.
  • The skin is cleaned and a numbing agent is injected into your breast.
  • A needle is introduced into your breast.
  • A wire or seed is inserted through the needle.
  • Once the wire or seed is correctly positioned, the needle is removed.
  • Additional images are taken to confirm correct placement.
  • Following a wire procedure, you will be escorted to the OR.
  • Following a seed procedure, you will be able to go home. There are no activity restrictions.

Contact Us

Dubin Breast Center
The Mount Sinai Hospital
Klingenstein Pavilion
1176 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10029

For Appointments and Information
Tel: 855-TO-DUBIN (863-8246) or

Breast Imaging
Tel: 212-241-3300 option 1

Breast Surgery
Tel: 212-241-3300 option 2

Breast Reconstruction (plastic surgery)
Tel: 212-241-4410

Medical Oncology
Tel: 212-241-3300 option 3

Radiation Oncology
Tel: 212-241-7501

Breast Pathology
Tel: 212-241-7397

Breast Health Resource Program (psychosocial support)
Tel: 212-987-3063

Clinical Trial for Breast Cancer

Dubin Breast Center offers a clinical trial to evaluate the use of Champions TumorGrafts® in 100 patients diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer.

Learn more