Benign Breast Surgery
There are many conditions of the breast that are benign in nature but may present as surgical issues due to the way they present, grow or the symptoms they cause to a woman.
These include conditions such as:
These are non-cancerous benign tumours, that often present as a new lump in young women, less than 30 years of age. There are 3 reasons to remove them:
- They grow quickly
- They are getting large close to the 3cm or more
- They are symptomatic, for instance painful and tender or aesthetically disfiguring
- They do not predispose you to breast cancer
- The reason to remove them is that sometimes a cancer can grow within them, within the tissue next to it, or sometime very rarely it can transform into a phylloides tumour, which also does need to be removed.
- These are tumours of the breast that can be benign or malignant
- They exist on a continuum from harmless to aggressive
- There can be a lack of certainty about whether they are benign or malignant or are in fact a fibroadenoma and therefore are always recommended to be excised.
These are extremely common aberrations of normal growth and development. They can be simple or complex and in vast majority of cases do not represent any risk or problems to patients. Rarely complex cysts can be associated with cancer and are therefore biopsied. Most commonly cysts are aspirated if they become painful, which happens when they fill up with fluid and become tense (like a balloon). In rare cases recurrent aspirations are required and sometimes women would prefer to remove the cyst rather than to continue with aspirations.
As the name suggests this refers to dead lumps of fat that cause lumps and calcifications on the mammogram. They are benign and do not represent any threat to patient’s lives. They are formed as a result of trauma, be it accidental trauma or surgical trauma. They can be confused for more sinister causes of microcalcifications on mammogram (such as DCIS) and therefore lead to unnecessary biopsies.
A radial scar is a benign hyperplastic proliferative disease of the breast. Its only importance is the fat that it can look like a cancer on a mammogram and therefore lead to unnecessary biopsy or even surgery. However, occasionally they are difficult to distinguish from a true cancer and hence surgical excision is warranted.
Breast pain is an extremely common symptom. It can cyclical (associated with menses) or non-cyclical. Only very seldom is it a symptom of cancer. Most of the time in fact, when properly assessed, the symptoms relate to the chest wall rather than the breast, but sometimes, true breast pain is encountered. Most prescription medications for this pain have significant side effects and hence are seldom prescribed. Anti-inflammatory medications can occasionally be used on some women and can be trailed safely.
Pseudoangiomatous stromal hyperplasia (PASH) is a rare and benign breast lesion. It is important because it can present as a fast growing lump, often quite large and can be difficult to differentiate from a Breast Sarcoma (a rare malignant condition). More often it is encountered incidentally on breast biopsies or surgical specimens. It does not increase your risk of breast cancer or breast sarcoma, but it does need to be appropriately diagnosed when presents as a new lump, and that may include a surgical biopsy.
This usually involves a surgical excision of a lump or radiological lesion. There are different ways for performing this surgery. The traditional method involves an incision over a lump for instance. At Breast & Body Clinic, we believe in avoiding unnecessary scars on the breast, and usually most benign lumps can be removed with a nice cosmetic peri-areola incision, which heals very well, and leaves almost no scar and disfigurement. This is particularly important when the surgery performed is done for benign lesions.