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In this section, we have leaflets for the Breast Surgery department. Please only read the materials on the advice of your clinician.

The Recite Me accessibility tools can be used if you need assistance.

 

 

Advice on Discharge from Routine Follow-up at Breast Clinic

Since your diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer you have had no further disease detected. In this situation, you do not need routine check-ups in the breast clinic, but you will continue to have support from your GP and the Breast Team as necessary.

 

 

 

Bisphosphonates for Early Breast Cancer

Bisphosphonates are a group of medications that are used to treat thin bones (osteoporosis). Bisphosphonates control the cells that break down bone (osteoclasts) and allow the cells that rebuild bone (osteoblasts) to work better. As a result, they increase bone density and strength, and therefore reduce the risk of fractures.

 
 

Breast Patients discharged with Exudrain

Following surgery to the breast and / or under the arm, a wound drain may be inserted. This helps to prevent fluid from collecting and causing swelling thereby reducing the risk of infection. It also helps in reducing any bruising to the area.

The drain is removed when the amount draining is less than 25 mls per 24 hours or after seven days, whichever is sooner. In some situations the drain is left for a longer period of time. The drain is usually removed by the breast care nurses or occasionally we may arrange this to be done through your district nurses.

 
 

Breast Patients discharged with Redivac Drain

Following surgery to the breast and / or under the arm, a wound drain may be inserted. This helps to prevent fluid from collecting and causing swelling thereby reducing the risk of infection. It also helps in reducing any bruising to the area.

The drain is removed when the amount draining is less than 25 mls per 24 hours or after 7 days whichever is sooner. In some situations the drain is left for a longer period of time. The drain is usually removed by the breast care nurses or occasionally we may arrange this to be done through your district nurses.

You will be advised to bring a specific bag in which to keep your drain. This can be attached to your waist with a belt.

 
 

Mastitis and Breast Abscess

These are conditions arising in the breast due to inflammation which cause the breast to become red, hot and sore.

Most commonly this is seen in patients who are breastfeeding (lactational) in which there is build-up of milk that can become infected by bacteria entering the milk ducts through a cracked nipple. However, this may affect patients not breastfeeding (non-lactational) for example, due to smoking or those that are more susceptible to infection such as those with diabetes.

An abscess is a collection of pus within the breast.

 
 

Patient Initiated Follow-Up after Treatment for Primary Breast Cancer

The Patient Initiated Followed up (PIFU) programme has been specially designed by the breast unit to support you when you have completed your treatment. It is a type of follow up, where you the patient, are in control. It means that your normal routine will not be disrupted by regular hospital appointments; instead, you can quickly gain access to the breast care team and hospital when you need to. It is based on evidence showing that there is no advantage to regular, fixed time follow up in hospital for well women after treatment for breast cancer.

 
 

Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy (SLNB)

The sentinel lymph node (SLN) is the first lymph node in your armpit to which breast cancer can spread. Sometimes SLN are a group of few nodes.

By removing the sentinel lymph nodes (SLN), we can find out whether the breast cancer has or has not spread to the armpit nodes, this important information helps us to advise you about the stage of your cancer and the best type of breast cancer treatment for you.

Recent studies have shown that removal of the SLN node as opposed to traditional armpit surgery, which removes more nodes, has less side effects and has become standard treatment.

 
 

Welcome To The Breast Clinic

Welcome to Ashford and St. Peter’s Breast Unit. We endeavour to provide you with an excellent experience during your outpatient visit. Please do ask a member of staff if you need anything during your visit.

You have been referred by your GP to seek specialist advice or treatment for your particular breast problem. Included with this information leaflet is a breast history questionnaire that you will need to complete before your scheduled appointment. Please do not worry if there are certain questions that you feel unable to answer. Please ask. We will help you with this at your appointment and any time during your visits with us.

 
 

Wire Localisation Excision

There are increasing number of breast abnormalities that cannot be felt and are only found on scans or mammograms. In order to perform surgery, the abnormal area needs to be pinpointed by a special wire and this procedure is called localisation.

Wire localisation is performed in the x-ray department either at Ashford or St. Peter’s Hospital site and is usually done on the morning of the operation by the radiologist.

 

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