Not all breast lumps mean cancer
Jessica Ourisman experienced the “jolt of sheer panic that shoots through your body upon finding a lump in your breast.” In her article, she discussed the fact that one in eight women in the United States, about 13 percent, are diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. She went on to explain that the lump she had discovered was diagnosed as fibroadenoma, a non-cancerous mass that would still have to be addressed. In her words:
“At my appointment, my doctor reassured me, stating that the type of lump I presented with was different from the types of emergent masses that typically worry healthcare providers. For her peace of mind and mine, I was referred to a diagnostic mammogram and was diagnosed with a fibroadenoma.
Being prepared and informed is exactly how you can get through this type of trying moment rationally. I am sharing my own experience with fibroadenoma – and some expert insight from top surgeons – in the hopes that it will help others who find themselves in my position.”
Providing options for removing fibroadenoma
There are a number of ways to remove a fibroadenoma. Dr. Cohen was consulted as an expert on surgical removal of the mass, including the option of incorporating the necessary removal with a larger surgery to enhance the breasts.
“It is rare that I would see a patient simply for a fibroadenoma. However, I will sometimes remove them in conjunction with breast surgery like breast reduction, breast lift, and breast augmentation,” says Robert Cohen, MD, a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Beverly Hills. “There is obviously a scar after this surgery to remove the fibroadenoma, but often the scar can be hidden along the edge of the areola or in the breast crease.”
Potential indentations after fibroadenoma removal
Ourisman explained that the removal of a fibroadenoma “may result in an indentation or even a change in the size of the breast.” She went on to explain:
Our experts point out that this is most often the case when there are several fibroadenomas removed or a larger mass…But this is not always the case, which is when an aesthetic procedure, like fat grafting, may become appealing. Following your fibroadenoma removal, Dr. Cohen advises waiting to see how the body heals itself before coming in to be assessed for corrective treatment.
Restoring the breasts after removing a fibroadenoma–fat grafting or implants?
When it comes to fat grafting, those with enough fat available to harvest may find this option to be ideal. However, naturally slim or athletic patients may not have enough fat to harvest. When it comes to the fat grafting option to restore the breasts, Dr. Cohen said, “The more experienced the surgeon with aesthetic surgery of the breasts, the better the result will generally be.”
Ourisman went on to discuss implants as an option for breast enhancement after a fibroadenoma removal:
Though extremely rare, permanent deformity or an alteration to the size of your breast might lead you to consider breast implants. Even so, as one of the top five most popular cosmetic surgeries in the U.S., you might be considering breast augmentation anyway. “The two decisions should not have major impacts on one another,” Dr. Cohen adds.
“...I would generally do both an augmentation and fibroadenoma removal with possible fat grafting, if needed,” Dr. Cohen explains. He has also had cases where the fibroadenoma was in deeper tissue, and he was able to remove it while placing implants.
Helping patients decide
Jessica Ourisman explained her consultations helped her decide to go through with the removal of her fibroadenoma. “Dr. Cohen helped me decide to wait approximately three months to see if it leaves any sort of indentation, at which point I could consider fat grafting.” She went on to explain that once her fibroadenoma was removed, she would wait until her breast settled, and if she had any hestitations at all about the shape and form of her breast, she would “be heading straight back to Dr. Cohen's office for fat grafting.”
Dr. Cohen is honored to be able to help patients who need help when a fiboadenoma is discovered and should be removed. As an expert with breast procedures, he provides aesthetic, outstanding results and thoughtful, understanding patient care.