Vacuum-assisted complete excision of solid intraductal/intracystic masses and complex cysts: Is follow-up necessary?

Breast. 2017 Oct;35:42-47. doi: 10.1016/j.breast.2017.06.014. Epub 2017 Jun 22.


Introduction: Management of complex cysts and benign intraductal/intracystic masses is controversial. The aim of this study was to determine if the complete removal of the complex cyst lesions with ultrasound-guided vacuum-assisted excision (US-VAE) is sufficient for their safe management when the histological diagnosis obtained at biopsy is benign.

Subjects and methods: This is a single institution retrospective study performed on patients who underwent breast biopsy between April 2007 and September 2013. Patients with complete removal of complex cyst lesion of a BIRADS 4 lesion by US-VAE that obtained a benign diagnosis were included. Size, morphology, histological diagnosis, and surgical or imaging follow-up of the lesions were analyzed.

Results: During the study period, 131 lesions met the inclusion criteria. Benign papilloma represented 32% (42/131) of the lesions; the remaining lesions had various benign diagnoses. Mean size of the solid mass or the cysts' thickest septum was 7 mm (range, 2-24). Mean imaging follow-up was 34.9 months (24-99 months) in 115 lesions. No recurrence or malignancy in the post-biopsy bed were observed during follow-up. Eleven lesions (8.4%) underwent surgery as follow-up: no cancer was found, but two lesions demonstrated atypia.

Conclusions: Complex cyst lesion image completely excised with US-VAE and with a benign histology at biopsy might not require further imaging follow-up or surgery and a return to routine screening can be safely recommended. In a world where healthcare delivery and accessibility is important, elimination of unnecessary follow-ups is pertinent given its lower cost and lesser social impact.

Keywords: Benign papilloma; Complex cyst; Intracystic mass; Intraductal mass; Vacuum-assisted excision.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biopsy, Needle / methods*
  • Breast Cyst / pathology
  • Breast Cyst / surgery*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Image-Guided Biopsy / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional / methods
  • Vacuum