Breast Surgery Frequently Asked Questions
What is a breast surgeon?
A breast surgeon is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of breast diseases and conditions. Breast surgeons perform various procedures, including reconstruction, biopsies, and tumor removal if cancer is detected. Breast surgeons may also specialize further as either breast oncology surgeons or plastic surgeons.
Breast surgeons treat various breast conditions, including:
- breast calcifications: lumps that may link to precancerous lesions
- breast cancer: cancer that originates in or spreads to your breasts
- cysts: noncancerous, fluid-filled lumps that sometimes cause pain
- fat necrosis: the formation of painless lumps from damaged fatty tissue
- fibroadenomas: non-cancerous breast tumors that may increase your risk of breast cancer
- mammary duct ectasia: a condition that causes inflammation and blockages of your nipples’ ducts
A few of the most common procedures a breast surgeon performs include:
- aspiration: a procedure performed to drain a cyst
- breast biopsy: a diagnostic test used to detect breast cancer and other diseases
- breast cancer surgery: the surgical removal of breast tumors, including procedures such as mastectomies and lumpectomies
- breast reconstruction: a procedure performed to restore and rebuild your breast after a mastectomy or lumpectomy
- resection of lymph nodes: a procedure performed to remove cancerous lymph nodes near your breast
You may contact your breast surgeon to view a complete list of the procedures they perform.
Typically, your primary care physician will refer you to a breast surgeon if they notice there’s a suspicious lump or change in your breast. You should visit a breast surgeon if your PCP recommends you need to confirm a diagnosis of breast disease or if you’re experiencing breast pain or inflammation, sudden weight loss, fever, and other signs and symptoms of cancer.