If an abnormality that cannot be easily felt needs to be surgically removed, surgeons need a marker to guide to the correct area of breast tissue. A hookwire localisation is where a fine wire, called a hookwire, is placed in the breast with its tip at the site of the abnormality.
Before surgery is carried out, a specialist doctor (a radiologist) places the hookwire into the correct position in the breast using ultrasound, mammography or MRI for guidance. The ‘hook’ at the end of the wire prevents the wire from moving out of position before surgery.
Breast hookwire localisation is carried out using local anaesthetic to numb the breast in the area where the hookwire is to be inserted.