Meridian Health’s breast surgery experts are committed to a standard of unmatched excellence and expertise upheld through innovation, collaborative research, and clinical trials. Our program offer a range of procedures for the treatment of malignant and non-malignant conditions, all of which are performed in a caring, comforting setting that respects the unique needs and concerns of every patient.
Conditions commonly evaluated by our breast surgeons include the following:
In addition to evaluating and treating breast cancer, breast surgeons often see patients with a variety of benign surgical and non-surgical breast conditions. These include:
Cysts are fluid filled sacs that commonly occur in breast tissue. They can be painful or sensitive and they tend to fluctuate in size. Most breast cysts do not require treatment as they are generally not linked to breast cancer. Breast ultrasound can differentiate cysts from solid masses. Cysts can be simple (filled with clear fluid) or complex (filled with cloudy fluid). If a radiologist is concerned about a cyst, aspiration might be recommended. Most cysts do not require surgical excision.
Masses are solid lumps that can occur in breast tissue. Breast ultrasound is helpful to measure a solid mass and define its features. Although many solid masses do not require surgical excision, core needle biopsy is often performed to determine if a mass is benign (non-cancerous), malignant (cancerous), or borderline (uncertain). Once a mass is found to be benign, it can often be observed without immediate surgical excision. Some indications for surgical excision of a mass include persistent pain, growth, and the presence of precancerous cells. Even if a mass is believed to be malignant, core needle biopsy should be performed as a first step to assist with preoperative testing and surgical planning.
Nipple discharge is fluid comes from the nipple on its own (spontaneous) or only with stimulation or squeezing (non-spontaneous). Not all nipple discharge requires evaluation or treatment. Fibrocystic discharge is often greenish in color and may come from more than one duct opening. This type of discharge is often hormonal and does not usually warrant treatment. Most spontaneous, unilateral, clear/bloody discharge should be evaluated by a breast surgeon. Appropriate tests may include mammogram, ultrasound, and sometimes breast MRI. The surgeon might send a smear of the discharge for cytology to check the nature of the cells. Although nipple discharge is sometimes caused by a tiny growth called an intraductal papilloma, surgical duct excision may be necessary to remove the growth and a segment of the affected duct.
Mastitis and breast abscess are infectious conditions that can affect the breast tissue. Mastitis is an infection of the soft tissue of the breast causing pain, redness, and sometimes fatigue and fever. Breast abscess is a collection of infected fluid or pus that might require needle or surgical drainage. Breast infections can be related to nursing, nipple piercing, or they can occur spontaneously. Most breast infections are treated with antibiotics, and some also require surgical evacuation of the infected fluid. Breast ultrasound can be helpful but is not required to diagnose mastitis.
Breast pain is a common symptom, especially in premenopausal women. Pain can be an important sign of a breast problem if it is new, unilateral, or persistent. A healthcare professional (OB/GYN, breast surgeon, primary care physician or nurse practitioner) should evaluate breast pain and other breast symptoms to determine the need for diagnostic testing.
Our expert team of physicians and specialists is committed to providing advanced, personalized treatment for each patient.
If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, these tests and treatments are some of the options available to you.
Meridian’s Breast Surgery Program provides treatment for a range of malignant and non-malignant conditions.
The following information will assist breast cancer patients and their families in navigating the often overwhelming journey through diagnosis, treatment, recovery and support.