Mammographic Considerations for Patients Undergoing Ancillary Surgical Procedures in the Breast: A Need for Pre- and Postoperative Mammograms

Heller, Barbara; Stomper, Paul C.
August 2000
American Surgeon;Aug2000, Vol. 66 Issue 8, p744
Academic Journal
Mammographic evaluation of the pre- and postoperative breast has been primarily emphasized for patients undergoing diagnostic breast biopsies and breast-conserving surgery. There is limited literature addressing ancillary surgical procedures involving breast tissue that may complicate mammographic evaluation of the breasts during breast cancer screening. We present mammographic diagnostic dilemmas after ancillary surgical procedures in the breast. The placement and removal of devices, such as central venous access ports and pacemakers, may result in scarring that may appear suspicious for malignancy on mammography. In addition, the placement of devices can obscure lesions that are being followed mammographically. These cases illustrate the need for the application of a basic principle of breast surgery, that of pre- and postoperative mammography, to ancillary surgery of the breast to allow optimal mammographic evaluation of women who are breast screening candidates.


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