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Breast surgery

Breast surgery is performed by specialist breast surgeons for both benign and malignant (cancerous) disease.

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK. While it is much more common in women, it can also, in rare cases, affect men. Receiving a diagnosis of any type of cancer can be a shock, but it can be reassuring to know that breast cancer can often be successfully treated if found at an early stage. 

At Bishops Wood Hospital in Northwood, Middlesex, we provide investigation and treatment for a number of breast symptoms and conditions. Our rapid-access breast clinics provide comprehensive assessment and diagnosis, and fast progression to treatment if required. 

Our close proximity to the renowned Mount Vernon Cancer Centre provides excellent access to superb facilities and treatment options.   

Breast cancer is often treated with surgery (known as Simple or Oncoplastic breast surgery). This may cause changes in the shape or size of the breasts, and further surgery may be carried out to improve the appearance of the breast (Reconstructive breast surgery).  

Whether you need surgery because of a breast cancer diagnosis or following breast cancer treatment, our experienced team are here to help you at every step of the way.  

It’s simple to book a private appointment with us at Bishops Wood Hospital. Please get in touch and we would be delighted to help arrange a time that is convenient for you. We are here for you. 

As it relates to breast cancer, breast surgery can be carried out to: 

  • Conserve the breast 
  • Remove the breast tissue affected by cancer 
  • Reconstruct the breast after treatment 

Surgery to CONSERVE the breast includes: 

  • Lumpectomy – the removal of abnormal tissue from the breast  
  • Excision – the surgical removal of cancerous cells, along with an area of surrounding healthy tissue to ensure no traces of the cancer remain in the body 
  • Oncoplastic surgery – if a large amount of cancerous tissue has been removed from the breast, oncoplastic surgery can be carried out to reshape and remodel the remaining breast tissue  

Mastectomy surgery to REMOVE breast tissues: 

  • A mastectomy involves removing all breast tissue. This is often followed by breast reconstruction surgery (see section below). 

Axillary surgery to REMOVE the lymph nodes to stage the axilla includes:

  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy
  • Axillary node clearance

Surgery to RECONSTRUCT the breast includes:

  • Reconstruction with implant – a silicone implant is placed under the skin
  • Nipple reconstruction
  • Fat transfer – Fat taken from another part of the body (the trunk or thighs) can be used to increase the volume of the breast

Risk Reducing Breast Surgery may be considered if you are at higher risk of developing breast cancer. Your Consultant will discuss this with you if appropriate. 

Our Consultants are experts in breast problems. The rapid-access (one-stop) breast clinics at Bishops Wood Hospital ensure an incredibly streamlined service, with same-day results available for a number of investigations.  

When you first meet with your Consultant, they will discuss your symptoms and any concerns you may have. An examination of your breast will normally be carried out, then you will have any investigations needed. These may include: 

  • A mammogram (X-ray of the breast) 
  • An ultrasound scan 
  • A biopsy of breast tissue (including core needle biopsy, excision biopsy and fine-needle aspiration biopsy) 

Our on-site mammography unit is fully equipped for digital stereotactic localisation to aid biopsy and fine needle aspiration of soft tissue lesions. On-site radiologists report on any imaging carried out, so results are back with your Consultant quickly.  

If anything is found that will require treatment (or additional investigation), your Consultant will explain this to you, making sure you have all the information you need. 

Unlike many other medical conditions, many people with breast symptoms will not need any imaging or diagnostic scans. However, sometimes this may be necessary; for example, if you are experiencing a problem from a previous breast implant, we may need to arrange a scan to determine the extent of the problem before treatment can be planned.  

If any further investigations are needed, or referral to another specialist is indicated, this will arranged for you by our team.  

We know that coming to one of our rapid-access breast clinics may feel overwhelming. When you’re anxious about a diagnosis of breast cancer, it can understandably be a challenging, confusing time, often accompanied by a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts.  

However you are feeling, and whatever concerns you may have, please know that our team is here for you. If you’d appreciate somebody to talk to about any concerns or worries you have, please just ask. We are here for you.   

People choose to visit Bishops Wood Hospital for assessment and treatment of their breast conditions for a number of reasons.  

Some have been referred by their GP or another consultant, while others have been recommended to us by a friend or family member.  

Many of our patients are from Middlesex and the surrounding areas, but people also travel from much further afield, even from other countries (including Kuwait and Kenya), to be treated by us, 

When you choose Bishops Wood Hospital, you will benefit from: 

  • Rapid access to a team of breast cancer specialists – If you are worried about any symptoms, such as lumps or pain in your breast, you will want to get expert advice as quickly as possible. We can arrange an appointment for you with a highly experienced Consultant without delay.  
  • One-stop clinic – Our rapid access breast clinics ensure fast, easy access to assessment, diagnosis, support, and any treatment you may require. The streamlined nature of our service avoids the need for multiple visits for different investigations on different days.  
  • Same-day results – Our Bupa-accredited breast care service provides same-day results for many investigations (our pathology service provides a 24-hr turnaround of any samples taken) 
  • Located in a dedicated cancer unit – Bishops Wood Hospital is the only private hospital housed in a dedicated cancer unit (the renowned Mount Vernon Cancer Centre). This means many aspects of your treatment and care, such as chemotherapy, can be easily and safely arranged and administered on-site. 
  • Remote consultations available – Consultations are normally carried out in person at Bishops Wood Hospital, but we can offer remote consultations via telephone or online video call if required (and where clinically appropriate). 
  • Dedicated nurses – Dedicated MacMillan nurses are available to support you through your diagnosis and any treatment you may need. They can make sure you receive the help and support you need.  
  • Personalised care – Any type of breast surgery, whether for cancer treatment or post-treatment reconstruction, will be tailored to your specific needs and what will give you the best end result. Your Consultant will work closely with you and keep you informed of results and progress at each step.  
  • An experienced team – Our Consultants work extremely closely with specialists in other fields, like Oncology and Radiology. With quick, easy access to any member of this wider team, you will always be able to see the most appropriate person for your needs at every stage. 
  • Location – It’s easy to travel to us! We’re located in the grounds of Mount Vernon Hospital in Northwood. Middlesex. (We suggest using the ‘Gate 3' entrance of Mount Vernon Hospital and then following the signs for Bishops Wood Hospital.)