Breast Cyst Aspiration: What is it? - Breast cancer: Lumps, Causes And Treatment

Breast Cyst Aspiration: What is it?

Breast Cyst Aspiration: What is it?

Breast cyst can be very frightening news for a woman. Although most of the cysts that are found in the breasts are benign, there is still that fear that it can lead to cancer. 

The fear is not absurd at all because there are instances that breast cancer start from a little tumor then it will become huge and eventually become malignant. For this reason, when a patient feels a lump in her breast, she should seek the help of his doctor right away and undergo diagnostic procedures to rule out the possibility of cancer.

Breast cyst may appear like a lump in your breast and you can feel it through touch or some are so small, they are not easily felt through physical examination. 

They are caused by abnormal growth of fibrous tissue in the breast particularly in the mammary glands. The masses that are felt in the breast may be tender or firm and they usually contain fluid.

Sometimes the lumps in the breast are normal because of the hormonal changes that a woman undergoes especially during their menstrual cycle and duringpregnancy which is why it is sometimes difficult to determine if a mass is just a normal cyst or if it is a lesion. For this reason, doctors usually conduct tests to rule out cancer right away such as mammography. However, this procedure will just determine the size and the location but not the nature of the mass. Hence, many opt tobreast cyst aspiration to know if the mass detected in the breast is actually a breast cyst or a growing lesion.

How Is Breast Cyst Aspiration Done

Breast cyst aspiration is a simple procedure that can be done in an outpatient department. The contents of the mass is aspirated to determine if the mass is just a simple cyst or it needs further evaluation like biopsy to know if it malignant. Here are the steps in doing an aspiration of the breast cyst.

Because the procedure is invasive, the area should be thoroughly cleansed with antiseptic solution such as povidone-iodine then followed by alcohol swab.

To maintain the sterility of the area, sterile drapes and sterile gloves are used.

Local anesthesia is introduced to numb the area before aspirating the fluid of the cyst.

To secure the lump, it is immobilized using the fingers of the non-dominant hand. To avoid causing pneumothorax, the mass is placed over the rib.

When the doctor proceeds with the aspiration, the syringe is held like a pencil by the dominant hand and then the doctor aspirates the fluid in the center of the lump. Sometimes the placement of the needle is adjusted to make sure that the doctor hit the cyst.

After the aspiration is complete, the needle is withdrawn and pressure is applied on the aspiration site to prevent hematoma. Afterwards, plastic strip bandage is placed in the aspiration site.

When the aspirated fluid is colorless and the size of the lump decreases after aspiration then there is no need to further evaluate the contents of the lump and there is a high probability that the mass is cystic. However, if the content of the breast mass is bloody or it contains mass then further investigation needs to be done.

Post-operative Care

Minimal pain after breast cyst aspiration is normal because after all, it is an invasive procedure. The pain will go away soon so you do not have to worry. However, if you notice that there is tenderness, redness, and you feel that you cannot handle the pain in the aspiration site then you need to contact your doctor right away. There is a possibility that the area got infected.


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