Other Breast Procedures

Nipple discharge and fluid filled cysts are two common breast abnormalities that often require evaluation and treatment.

Some of the same techniques and equipment used in diagnosing cancer-related abnormalities are used to perform a ductogram and cyst aspiration.

Diagnosing noncancerous breast conditions


This is a special type of mammogram used for imaging the breast ducts to aid in diagnosing the cause of abnormal nipple discharge. Nipple discharge can be caused by non-cancerous tumors or cancerous tumors; however, the majority are benign.

The ductogram procedure takes 30 minutes to one hour.

The radiologist applies manual pressure to the duct to cause discharge. Once the duct with discharge is determined, a contrast dye is injected so detail can be seen.

The contrast helps enhance the image of the duct during mammography, which will help locate the origin of the abnormal discharge.

Cyst aspiration

This is a procedure that uses a thin needle on a syringe to draw fluid and/or cellular material from a breast cyst. Cysts are the most common cause of breast masses felt by premenopausal women over 40 years old.

A cyst aspiration is done when the cyst is painful or complex, to make sure it isn't solid.

For the procedure, you will undress from the waist up and lie on your back. Using ultrasound guidance, the radiologist inserts a needle into the lump and the contents will be drawn out.

The procedure takes only a few minutes.

The skin can be numbed if you would like.

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