Our One-Stop diagnostic clinic gives you access to all your diagnostic tests during your first appointment including a breast examination, breast imaging (breast ultrasound and/or digital mammography) and needle biopsy under local anesthesia if appropriate. A research study led by Professor Gordon Wishart has shown that One-Stop breast clinics have a diagnostic accuracy of 99.6%.
What to expect
During your initial consultation, you will be asked some questions about your breast problem and then you will have a breast examination. You will then be advised if you require breast ultrasound and/or a digital mammogram to investigate your breast symptoms. This combination of breast examination, breast imaging and possible biopsy is called triple assessment.
If any abnormality is detected by breast examination or breast imaging, then a needle biopsy may be performed under local anaesthesia. The needle biopsy takes about 15 minutes to perform and is usually painless. All breast imaging and biopsies are performed by one of our specialist breast radiologists.
You should allow up to two hours for your One-Stop clinic appointment, although in most cases your visit to the clinic will be much shorter than this.
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Digital mammography involves taking an x-ray picture of each breast while it is being gently compressed. The mammogram may help to explain your specific breast symptoms, as well as providing an overall assessment of both breasts. Although mammography is usually a more sensitive test in older women, it can be useful in women from age 35 onwards. The dose of radiation with modern mammography is very low and safe.
Breast ultrasound sends harmless high-frequency sound waves through your breast and converts them into images on a screen. If an abnormality is seen on mammography, or felt by clinical examination, ultrasound is the best way to find out if the abnormality is solid (such as a benign fibroadenoma, or breast cancer) or fluid-filled (such as a benign cyst).
Breast ultrasound can also be used to take a targeted biopsy from any solid or suspicious lump within your breast under local anaesthesia.
If your investigations show a solid lump or suspicious area in your breast, then an ultrasound-guided needle biopsy will be recommended to you. Following injection of local anaesthesia, ultrasound is used to guide the needle in to the lump so that a tissue sample can be obtained for analysis. Ultrasound-guided breast biopsies are far more likely to provide the correct diagnosis, and the procedure will take up to fifteen minutes to perform. The biopsy will be sent to the pathology laboratory for analysis.
Following your needle biopsy, we aim to give you a result within 5 working days. The needle biopsy is the only test that will provide an accurate diagnosis of your breast lump.