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Mr David Moss - General Surgeon

Private Service, General Surgery, Breast

Breast Disorders

Breast disorders may be noncancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant) and range from conditions that require no treatment to those that require immediate and major surgery.
 
Common symptoms of breast disorders include breast pain, lumps and nipple discharge. These symptoms will be investigated by mammography, ultrasound and/or a needle biopsy. A needle biopsy involves inserting a needle into an area of the breast and the removal of a small amount of tissue for examination under a microscope.
 
Breast disorders include:
  • fibrocystic change – benign changes in the breast tissue causes it to become dense or “lumpy”
  • fibroadenomas – benign tumours of the breast tissue
  • cysts – fluid-filled sacs
  • breast infections
  • breast cancer.
Many of these conditions do not require surgery and I work with other specialists to find out the best treatment plan for you.
 
Breast Cancer Surgery
 
  • Mastectomy: all breast tissue, skin and the nipple are surgically removed but the muscles lying under the breast are left in place
  • Lumpectomy: the breast lump and surrounding tissue are surgically removed. When combined with radiation treatment, this is known as breast-conserving surgery
  • Axillary Clearance: as breast cancer can spread to the lymph nodes in the armpit, these are commonly removed at the same time as the breast operation 
  • Sentinel Node Biopsy: for small cancers, rather than remove many lymph nodes, a single node is removed and tested during the operation.  If it is clear of cancer further nodes do not need to be removed
 
The type of surgery is determined by the wishes of the patient, but not all operations are suitable for everyone.
 
Breast Reconstruction
 
When a breast has been removed (mastectomy) because of cancer or other disease, it is possible in most cases to reconstruct a breast similar to a natural breast. A breast reconstruction can be performed as part of the breast removal operation or can be performed months or years later.
 
There are two methods of breast reconstruction: one involves using an implant; the other uses tissue taken from another part of your body. There may be medical reasons why one of these methods is more suitable for you or, in other cases, you may be given a choice.

This page was last updated at 8:13AM on July 29, 2021.