Removing Noncancerous Breast Lumps: MILR vs. Traditional Surgery

Woman's torso wearing a pink athletic sports bra and leggings (model)

After discovering a noncancerous breast lump, most patients’ first question is how to remove it. While these benign masses (known medically as fibroadenomas) are not life-threatening, they can still cause significant discomfort and anxiety.

In this blog post, we will discuss your options for removing noncancerous breast lumps, including traditional surgical removal and the innovative MILR technique.

Surgical Lump Removal

Also known as an excisional breast biopsy, traditional surgical removal has been a go-to method for treating fibroadenomas for decades. During this procedure, the surgeon makes an incision and removes the lump from the breast tissue before suturing the skin. While effective, this method has some drawbacks, such as post-operative downtime and scarring.

Benefits of Surgical Removal

  • Definitive Removal: Surgical removal ensures complete removal of the fibroadenoma, including a margin of surrounding healthy tissue.
  • Pathological Examination: The excised lump is sent to a pathologist to rule out any cancerous cells.

Criteria for Surgical Removal

  • Large or painful fibroadenomas
  • Fibroadenomas that are deeper within the breast or in difficult-to-reach areas
  • Suspicion that the mass is or may become cancerous
  • Inability to confirm diagnosis through less invasive methods

MILR Technique

Bedford Breast Center’s proprietary Minimally Invasive Lump Removal (MILR) technique is a revolutionary advancement in fibroadenoma removal. This quick procedure offers a less invasive and more patient-friendly alternative to traditional surgery.

During MILR, your surgeon makes a tiny incision, approximately 2-3mm, and uses a specialized device to break down and extract the fibroadenoma tissue. You can learn more about the procedure in our related blog post.

Benefits of MILR

  • Minimally Invasive: As the name states, MILR is a gentler approach that involves a small incision that is only about a quarter of an inch, minimal scarring, and reduced postoperative discomfort.
  • Quick Recovery: Patients typically enjoy a faster, smoother recovery and can resume their normal activities within a couple of days.
  • Local Anesthesia: MILR is performed under local anesthesia, which reduces the risks and complications associated with general anesthesia.

Criteria for MILR

  • Small to moderate-sized fibroadenomas
  • Fibroadenomas that are closer to the surface
  • Minimal or no pain associated with the lump
  • Desire for a less invasive removal option

Can Fibroadenomas Turn Into Cancer?

Typically, a fibroadenoma is a benign, noncancerous breast mass with a very low risk of becoming malignant. In rare cases, however, they can undergo changes and resemble early-stage breast cancer. Early removal can prevent these complex fibroadenomas from developing.

Explore Your Options Under Our Expert Guidance

When it comes to noncancerous breast lump removal, fibroadenoma surgery and MILR present two effective pathways for treatment. For many patients, MILR is the more appealing option due to its minimal scarring, faster recovery, and reduced postoperative discomfort and pain.

To determine whether MILR is suitable for you, our breast surgery experts are available to assess your specific case and provide personalized treatment recommendations. Don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment online or call us at (310) 278-8590 to get started.

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