A method for using a surgical biopsy instrument for extracting a plurality of tissue samples from a body is disclosed. The instrument has a piercing needle that is initially inserted into the body. The needle has a piercing tip and a plurality of tissue receiving ports, for the reception of tissue samples, circumferentially arranged around the needle adjacent to the piercing tip. A first tissue sample is sampled at the first tissue receiving port and is removed from the instrument. A second tissue sample is sampled at a second tissue receiving port without moving the needle. The second tissue sample is removed from the body in the same manner as the first.