What is Breast Cyst Aspiration

Breast Cyst Aspiration is the procedure that a doctor would perform if you were diagnosed with a watery, fluid filled breast sac or lump.The key words are watery, fluid filled sac. A watery, fluid filled breast lump is called a breast cyst and is not related to cancer. A breast lump that contains blood or is a solid mass will need biopsy, or removal of a piece of the tissue for further microscopic examination to rule out cancer.

A breast cyst may be painless or tender and painful. It may be microscopic or up to the size of table tennis ball. It may be a single cyst or could be a multiple of cysts. Breast cysts are very common in women between the age of 40 – 50 years.Twenty to fifty percent of women in this child-bearing age group will encounter having a breast cyst during their life time. This is the peak incidence period. Breast cysts rarely occur in women over fifty years of age.

What Causes a Breast Cyst?

The cause of a breast cyst is unknown. However it is usually due to an imbalance between production versus absorption of fluid within the breast. The glands and ducts of the breast are always secreting small amounts of fluid. If the ducts become clogged with sloughing skin cells a cyst is formed.

What Happens during a Breast Cyst Aspiration?

A breast cyst aspiration is a quick, easy, simple and cost effective procedure performed by your doctor to aspirate fluid from a breast cyst.

The doctor would prepare the breast area in a sterile fashion with an antiseptic solution and draped out with sterile towels.

Wearing sterile gloves, he would palpitate the cyst and with a size 21 or size 22 injection needle attached to a syringe, the fluid would be aspirated from the cyst. The breast area would then be dressed with a band-aid.

If the fluid aspirated appears clear then the diagnosis of breast cyst would be confirmed.

The mass would be expected to be resolved and a follow up visit to the doctor would be scheduled for between 4 – 6 weeks.

If there is blood in the aspiration or if the cyst turns out to be a solid mass, then further studies such as a fine needle biopsy will be done for further diagnosis.

Any breast changes should be reported to your health care provider

Always seek early medical advice for any breast lump detected.

Regular self breast examination, yearly medical breast check and early treatment if needed are crucial in preventing complications of the breast.