Diagnosis and treatment of breast fibroadenomas by ultrasound-guided vacuum-assisted biopsy

Arch Surg. 2003 Jul;138(7):796-800. doi: 10.1001/archsurg.138.7.796.


Hypothesis: Ultrasound-guided vacuum-assisted biopsy (UGVAB) can serve as an efficient tool for the diagnosis and excision of breast fibroadenomas.

Design: Patients with a clinically and radiographically suspected breast fibroadenoma were prospectively referred for UGVAB to confirm the diagnosis and to attempt to excise the lesion.

Patients: Fifty-two female patients, aged 19 to 68 years, were included in the 2-year study. All had at least 1 suspected fibroadenoma. The procedure was performed for a total of 56 lesions.

Interventions: Imaging modalities prior to biopsy to confirm the clinical suspicion included Doppler ultrasound and mammography or Doppler ultrasound alone. Tumor size and volume were recorded. Ultrasound-guided vacuum-assisted biopsy was performed in all cases, with guidance using the 11-gauge Mammotome handheld vacuum-assisted biopsy system (Ethicon Endo-Surgery Inc, Cincinnati, Ohio).

Main outcome measures: Major end points included diagnosis compatibility rate, excision rate, complications, and short-term follow-up.

Results: A tissue diagnosis was obtained in all cases and was compatible with the clinical diagnosis of fibroadenoma. Complete excision was achieved in all lesions less than or equal to 1.5 cm (mean volume, 0.25 mL). All lesions greater than 2 cm (mean volume, 1 mL) were incompletely excised. Of the 20 lesions measuring 1.5 to 2.0 cm, 11 (55%) were completely excised. The volume of all completely excised lesions was less than 0.9 mL. Four lesions with a volume less than 0.9 mL were incompletely excised due to bleeding. Ten of the 13 cases with incomplete excision were confident enough with the diagnosis to choose imaging follow-up instead of surgery. Two patients (16%) were referred by the radiologist for surgical excision. Only 1 patient with incomplete removal (8%) felt uncomfortable with the remnant lump and requested surgical excision.

Conclusions: Although the breast fibroadenoma is a common benign breast tumor, the treatment and follow-up of these lesions is still debatable. We suggest that UGVAB, which has a well-documented role in the diagnosis of breast lesions, may provide an option for the definitive treatment of breast fibroadenomas.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopsy, Needle / methods*
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery
  • Female
  • Fibroadenoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Fibroadenoma / pathology*
  • Fibroadenoma / surgery
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional / methods*
  • Ultrasonography, Mammary
  • Vacuum*