Breast Clinics FAQ
Our clinics run on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For the vast majority of our clients, they will receive any required investigations on the same day. Occasionally, clients may be requested to re-attend later the same day, or later on in the week. Our aim is to make your visit as stress-free as possible.
What should I expect when I attend?
We understand that attending a breast clinic can be difficult for some people. You may experience a range of emotions, some of which are unexpected. Our highly trained team are here to make you feel as comfortable as possible during your visit.
When you visit the Arden Breast Clinic, you will initially be seen by your breast surgeon. They will discuss your presenting complaint and ask relevant questions surrounding this. It is a good idea to have your current medications and allergies (if any) ready to give to your surgeon. It is likely that your surgeon will be required to examine you. If so, you will be required to undress from the waist upwards, behind a privacy screen. A chaperone will be present at all times during the examination, which usually takes 1-2 minutes, but may take longer if planning for surgery. Occasionally, medical photography is required; we will always request your permission to do so prior to capturing images. Mobile devices may be used to take photos, but images are never stored locally. They will always be uploaded to your secure electronic health record. The whole consultation will last around 15 minutes, but this will vary from patient to patient.
Above all, you will be treated with respect and dignity at all times during your visit.
Will I be sent for any tests?
Once you have finished your consultation with your breast surgeon, they will discuss any special tests with you, if required. This may be a mammogram, an ultrasound scan, or both. These tests are usually performed on the same day as your consultation, but on some occasions, you may be required to return at a later date for them.
A mammogram is an xray of your breasts. This will be carried out by an experienced radiographer and only lasts a few seconds. Some women find this uncomfortable as the breast is compressed slightly during the scan , but generally it is well tolerated. The acquired images are then interpreted by the consultant radiologist.
A breast ultrasound is performed by a consultant radiologist. If you have had a mammogram, this doctor will correlate the findings from the mammogram with the ultrasound scan. The scan reports are then issued to the breast surgeon.
Sometimes a biopsy is recommended if more information is required to make a diagnosis. A small area of skin over the breast is numbed using an anaesthetic injection. This can be uncomfortable initially, but once numbed, a tiny core of breast tissue (about 2 millimetres in diameter) can be removed for analysis. This procedure takes about 5 minutes.
When will I receive my results?
The majority of patients will receive the results of their scans on the same day and are reassured. If a biopsy is performed, the results are usually ready within a week. You will usually require a follow up appointment to discuss the results if a biopsy is performed. We understand that waiting for test results can be unsettling. Our team is available to support you should you require it. You will also receive a letter from the consultation including the results of any tests. In line with good medical practice, your consultation letter will be shared with your general practitioner.