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Breast surgery

Ease your concerns with an assessment for breast conditions

When something doesn’t look or feel right with your breasts, it can be a worrying time, and you’ll want reliable answers from a specialist who can put your mind at ease.

Dealing with all aspects of functional breast surgery, our specialists at Woodlands provide rapid diagnosis and treatment for a range of breast conditions and symptoms to patients in Darlington, Richmond, Barnard Castle and further afield.

Common symptoms that may prompt you to come and see a breast surgery specialist include:

  • Breast pain
  • Lump on the breast
  • Changes in the shape of your breast
  • Nipple discharge
  • Inversion of the nipple 

You may also appreciate some reassurance from a specialist due to a family history of breast cancer, and we are happy to offer a full assessment.

Conditions and issues treated by our specialists include: 

  • Breast cancer 
  • Fibroadenoma (benign lumps) 
  • Lymph node infections 
  • Cysts 

If you have noticed any changes in your breasts or you have experienced any of the symptoms noted above, why not book a consultation with one of our breast surgery specialists? Offering prompt and thorough diagnosis, efficient management of conditions and a clear, personalised treatment path, you will see first-hand why patients travel from all over the North of England for treatment at Woodlands. 

Symptoms relating to the breasts can have a range of causes, and not all of them will result in the need for invasive surgery. For example, breast cysts can be removed with a simple drainage procedure which can be done then and there in your initial consultation, usually requiring no further attention.

Some breast pain may be caused by hormonal changes, in which case medication can be prescribed and picked up from our on-site pharmacy.

A cancer diagnosis normally leads to surgery to remove the cancer, but surgery is also considered for benign lumps, which can be removed in one operation.

A wide range of surgeries are available at Woodlands, depending on your diagnosis, including:

  • Lumpectomy (removing only the cancer)
  • Mastectomy (removal of the whole breast)
  • Mastectomy with reconstruction
  • Axillary lymph node dissection surgery (removal of the lymph glands under the armpit if infected)

The recommended form of cancer surgery is normally decided within a multi-disciplinary team meeting, and your consultant can explain this recommendation, preparing you for surgery if you wish to go ahead with it. 

Your initial consultation at Woodlands will be based on getting a firm diagnosis promptly, and working out an appropriate treatment plan to treat or manage your condition.

When you come in for your first consultation with us, your consultant will take a thorough medical history, asking about the symptoms you’ve been experiencing, relevant risk factors, and any other issues you may have had in the past. They will likely want to know:

  • How long have you had these symptoms?
  • Are you in pain? If so, can you describe it – is it a stabbing pain? Constant or intermittent?
  • Has it got any worse recently?
  • Have you had any previous breast problems?
  • Have you received any treatment? Are you on any medication?
  • Do you have a family history of breast cancer?

This will be followed by a clinical examination, typically paired with a mammogram to help with diagnosis. Occasionally you may also have an ultrasound scan of the breast, and depending on the availability of radiologists, this can sometimes be done within the initial consultation.

Potentially, if there is a legion or lump felt or seen, a biopsy (small tissue sample) will be taken and sent away for analysis. The biopsy tends to be done under ultrasound guidance, so again if a radiologist is available, this can all be done as a ‘one stop shop’, saving you repeat journeys to Woodlands.

The vast majority of breast referrals to our specialists will be discharged on the day with no abnormality found, and your consultant can offer reassurance that the changes you’ve noticed are likely hormonal and nothing sinister.

If a lump is found and a biopsy taken, a follow-up appointment would be booked a week later to go through the biopsy results. Lumps can be benign (harmless) or cancerous, and these results will inform your treatment path.

An MDT (Multi-Disciplinary Team) meeting will be arranged promptly if a cancer diagnosis is confirmed, which will help determine the recommended treatment, all of which is evidence-based according to your prognosis. Your consultant will then outline to you all available options, and you can decide how you would like to proceed.

Surgery can be carried out on-site at Woodlands in our state-of-the-art operating theatres, supported by an expert theatre team of anaesthetists, radiologists and nursing staff to ensure you get the most streamlined, efficient service possible. 

Choosing to have your Breast surgery done at Woodlands comes with a host of benefits, such as: 

Assessments ASAP – If you’ve noticed any concerning changes in your breasts and have come to the decision to seek medical attention, you won’t want to wait for an appointment. By seeing patients rapidly, our consultants can give you a thorough diagnosis and all the details you need in order to make an informed decision on whether or not this type of surgery is right for you. 

Patient Satisfaction – 98.2% of other patients in 2019 said they would happily recommend Woodlands Hospital to friends and family in an independent report, and we’re confident that you’ll agree. 98.3% also said that the quality of care here at Woodlands Hospital was either ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’. We aim to make your stay with us as comfortable as possible, and these results highlight our continued efforts to ensure this is achieved. 

Day Case Procedures – For some non-cancerous conditions, such as breast cysts, a simple day case procedure to drain the cysts is all that is necessary to bring you relief from your symptoms, creating a ‘one stop shop’ for some concerns.

Personalised Care – We believe in a bespoke approach to treatment, tailoring each experience to our patients’ needs and whatever may be best for you. This is regularly reviewed, ensuring you get the necessary treatment at every stage of your patient journey. 

Efficient Breast Cancer Management – Our teams at Woodlands work in tandem with each other to provide you with the best possible care from start to finish. Working closely with specialists in Oncology, as well as a dedicated team of superb radiographers, physiotherapists, anaesthetists, and nurses, you have support from medical professionals every step of the way during your treatment.

Convenient Appointments – With appointments available between 10am and 8.30pm Monday-Saturday, you are sure to find an appointment slot that suits your needs and availability. 

Park with ease – We know that parking should be the least of your worries when attending hospital, so our car park has ample space to accommodate your needs. Alternatively, we are very close to Darlington Railway Station, should you wish to visit us by train.

If you have noticed any changes in your breasts, call our friendly reception team today to book a consultation. Our consultants can make a rapid diagnosis and outline all treatment options for you promptly, arranging any further treatment or surgery if required.  

For peace of mind and expert care, please contact Woodlands to book an appointment now.