What is a Fibroadenoma?
First and most important - fibroadenomas are benign –
they are not cancerous.
However, fibroadenomas can continue to grow and may be physically and/or emotionally bothersome for many women so there are treatment options to help reduce or eliminate the fibroadenoma.
What are the Different Treatment Options?
There are a number of different options to choose from – and you should pick the one that you feel most comfortable with. Let’s take a look at each one.
You may choose to hold off and take a “wait and see” attitude. However, for many women, having a lump in their breast can cause some anxiety because they know that it’s been left untreated and there is a chance that it could continue to grow over time. Additionally, some women find fibroadenomas painful. You’ll need to consider these items when making your decision.
- Vacuum Assisted
Small scar. Removes all or part of the fibroadenoma which may mean it could grow back. Vacuum assisted is a minimally invasive, 30-minute office-based procedure which requires local anesthesia. This type of treatment uses a biopsy device to remove all or part of the fibroadenoma using a vacuum technique. Pieces of the fibroadenoma are pulled (using vacuum suction), into an opening in the needle and the tissue is removed in pieces. Although you would have a small incision it is important to know clinical results* have shown at 6 month follow up that 38% of patients in the study still had a portion of the fibroadenoma left in their breast. This remaining tissue could regrow, causing you to undergo another treatment in the future. *Breast Masses: Removal of All US Evidence during Biopsy by Using a Handheld Vacuum-Assisted Device Initial Experience, March, et al; Radiology; 5/03, p. 540-555
Larger scar. Removes fibroadenoma so it will not grow back. Typically surgery involves a day in the hospital, general anesthesia, stitches and 2-3 days of recovery. You’ll have a larger scar if you undergo surgery as well as a higher level of risk and pain during recovery. However, the fibroadenoma will be completely removed eliminating the concern that it will regrow over time.
- Visica® Treatment
Small scar. Destroys your fibroadenoma so it will not grow back. The Visica® Treatment is a minimally invasive, 30-minute office-based procedure which requires only local anesthesia. This treatment uses advanced cryoablation technology to destroy the fibroadenoma so there’s no concern about regrowth. Additionally, because there is no tissue removal, cosmetic outcomes are excellent. During the procedure a small needle the size of a match stick is placed into the center of the fibroadenoma. This needle then creates an ice ball that encapsulates the lump and completely destroys it. The body then breaks down the treated tissue and replaces it with healthy tissue over time.
Marla W. Dudak, MD PA
9325 Glades Rd. #101
Boca Raton, Florida 33434