Certain doctors can do a thin needle aspiration in their consulting room. This involves the doctor drawing fluid from the lump and sending it to a pathologist for analysis. Once the results come back (this usually takes about a week) the doctor will be able to determine whether the lump is benign or malignant and whether it should be removed.
- If any abnormalities are mentioned in the pathologist’s report, the patient will be admitted to hospital for the removal of the lump. The doctor will arrange for an operation and discuss the possibility of performing a frozen section with the patient (a frozen section is a procedure whereby the pathologist does a tissue analysis in the theatre to determine whether the lump is malignant or not).
- The patient may not eat or drink anything for six hours prior to the operation.
- A drainage tube may be inserted if the lump is large.
- The patient is usually discharged on the same day but, if necessary, may need to stay in hospital overnight.
- The doctor will discuss the pathologist’s report as well as any further procedures with the patient.