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Breast Cancer

Bloody discharge

06/01/2004

Question:

Last November I had a total hystarectomy and am now on estrogen replacement. I also had augmentations, (saline), that were removed in early November due to a year of problems. I recently experienced bloody nipple dicharge and have been to a breast surgeon who has me going for a "ductagram" or a galactagram?. I have heard this is not a pleasant experience. What can I expect about and from the results of this procedure? The bloody discharge has ceased recently and it was usually evident during sex or excercise or holding grandbaby. According to what I have read here on your other letters looks like I may have no need for further testing. The bleeding was prominant in left but once or twice it was in both.

Answer:

Nipple discharges need to be investigated if they are bloody, unilateral or spontaneous. A ductogram is the correct test in this situation. This is performed by a radiologist, who is able to insert a small needle into the duct with drainage. Some dye is then injected into the nipple duct and X-rays are performed. These can then determine if any further biopsies need to be performed.

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Response by:

Syed A Ahmad, MD Syed A Ahmad, MD
Associate Professor of Surgery
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati