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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

The London Breast Clinic is registered with the Care Quality Commission and subject to their audit process. We are also a BUPA Approved Breast Unit. Internally we are managed by a Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) who ensure that all regulatory matters are kept up to date and manage the conduct of the Consultants with admitting rights to 108 Harley Street. There are also regular multi-disciplinary team meetings that deal with both ongoing professional education and case management.

We are a Founder member of the Harley Street Alliance. More information on the Harley Street Alliance can be found at www.harleystreet.com.

Not necessarily. You will have been referred so that a Consultant Breast Surgeon can review you and arrange any investigations that may be required.

Even though most breast conditions, including lumps, are not cancerous, any different or unusual changes in the breast should be investigated to exclude the possibility of cancer.  Also if there are any problems, better results are usually achieved the earlier they are dealt with.

About 90% of breast lumps are benign and causes usually depend on age.  In young women, fibroadenomas are the commonest type of lump.  These are made up of fibrous and glandular tissue.  For women in their 40s, cysts (sacs of fluid which build up in the breast tissue) are much more common.  Benign breast lumps are easily treated by your Consultant Breast Surgeon, and in many cases only require ongoing review rather than surgery.

Yes, they can, although it's not as common as in women.  Men need exactly the same investigations. For more information see the Breast Cancer in Men section of the website.

Simply call 0207 563 1234, Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm (5.30 pm on Fridays).  You will need a referral letter from your GP to see the Consultant Breast Surgeon if you are expecting your medical insurer to pay.  Please bring this with you to your first appointment.  You can also self-refer for a screening mammogram on the same number.

We have a specialist Consultant Breast Surgeon available every weekday, so it can usually be within 24 hours of requesting the appointment.  In some cases it may be possible to have a same day appointment. 

We understand how anxious and sometimes embarrassed you may feel about your appointment, but our fully trained staff aim to make your visit as comfortable and relaxed as possible.  Please do not hesitate to tell the Consultant or Breast Care Nurse if you are overly concerned.  They will be pleased to answer your questions and put your mind at rest.

We have a team of five Consultant Breast Surgeons, male and female, all of whom are experts in breast care and breast disease.  However, if you wish to see a specific Consultant please mention this when booking, although this may lead to a small delay in your initial appointment.

The normal diagnostic tests include:

Mammography: This is a diagnostic x-ray for examining the breast carried out by a radiographer, used mainly for patients 40 and over.  The image of the breast is then reviewed by a specialist Consultant Breast Radiologist who will produce a report for the Consultant Breast Surgeon.  In order to perform a mammogram the breast is compressed, some women find this uncomfortable, and a very small number may find it painful.

Ultrasound: This is the usual diagnostic investigation for patients under 35 and is also an additional investigation for patients who have had a mammogram.  A special gel is spread onto the breasts and a probe, which emits sound waves, is passed over the area.  The echoes are converted into an image of the breast tissue which is then reviewed by a consultant radiologist who will produce a report for the Consultant Breast Surgeon.  Ultrasound scans are painless.

Fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC): The Consultant Breast Surgeon takes a small sample of cells from the breast lump and sends them away for examination (cytology) for any signs of abnormality in the cells.  The needle used is the same size as a normal blood test needle (small).  To get enough material for examination under the microscope the needle may need to be jiggled within the breast which may be slightly uncomfortable.  The results are usually available with 24 hours and the Consultant Breast Surgeon will then discuss the findings with you.  The consultant may also drain fluid from cysts in this way.

Core biopsy: This is a breast biopsy which uses a thicker needle to obtain a very small piece of tissue.  Local anaesthetic is used to make the area numb before the biopsy is taken.  A small cut is then made in the breast and the core biopsy needled inserted to take samples.  The tissue is sent away for examination (histopathology) and the results are usually available within 48 - 72 hours.  If the area is very small or cannot be felt this test can be performed by X-Ray or ultrasound by a Consultant Radiologist or by the Consultant Breast Surgeon.


It can be a little uncomfortable, however, the consultant will ensure that you are as comfortable as possible.  It only takes a few minutes to perform the test.

Results from samples sent for analysis are usually available one week later. Some specimens may need a special analysis which may take longer. Inmost cases your consultant will arrange to review you in person with the results of your biopsy.

Yes. We will inform your GP and any other relevant specialists, e.g. your gynaecologist, in writing of all consultations, investigations and treatments that you have received. 

Should surgery be required this can usually be scheduled within three to five days of the decision being made, however, in some cases it can be quicker.

If you don't need surgery, any follow-up treatment will be explained to you.

The costs range from £350 for initial consultation to £350 for a second opinion and £180 to £225 for follow-up consultations.  There are additional charges for any investigations or diagnostic tests. 

Charges are routinely covered in full by all medical insurers, subject to individual policy benefit limits, restrictions and excesses.  If you require surgery, you will be given an estimate of the Consultant Surgeons fees so that you can check your level of cover with your insurer.

If you are not covered by medical insurance we offer all-inclusive packages for surgery.

For more information on charges please contact us on 0207 563 1234.

Please refer to our Services and Procedures page for information on The London Breast Clinic.

Do not hesitate to call us on 0207 563 1234 and you will be directed to the most appropriate person to answer your enquiry.

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