Surgical Services

Breast clinic - your guide

This leaflet explains what you can expect from your visit to the breast clinic.

You may be worried about attending the clinic but most people do not have serious problems -nine out of ten people will not have breast cancer.


What can I expect when I come to the clinic?Show [+]Hide [-]

What can I expect when I come to the clinic?

There are several different tests that can be carried out in the clinic but you may not need all of them. We aim to give you most of your test results before you leave the clinic. You may be in clinic for a few hours. If you have needle test/cell tests, we will arrange another appointment for vou to come back for the results.

Can I bring someone with me?

You are welcome to bring a partner, relative or friend with you for your appointment. They can stay with you for most of the visit, including some of the tests and your consultation with the doctor if this is what you want.

Can we make your visit easier?

Please let us know before your visit if there are arrangements we can make for you eg providing wheelchair access, interpreters/signers. You may need a particular time for your appointment:

  • if you need to make arrangements for child care
  • if you care for relatives
  • if you need time off work or you may want to let us know that you may need more time for your appointment.

You can contact the appointments desk on tel: 0191 282 5900.

How do I get to the clinic?

The bus and metro stations are both near to the RVI. Parking within the hospital is limited and can be very difficult. If you use a ticket machine at the hospital, or on the surrounding streets or car parks, you should allow plenty of time for your appointment.

The multi-storey car park which is next to the New Victoria Wing Outpatients on Queen Victoria Road may be more convenient as you pay for this as you leave.

What happens at the clinic?Show [+]Hide [-]

What happens at the clinic?

We aim to give you an answer to your problem at this visit. You will usually have to wait for a short time for some tests to be carried out and then another wait to see the doctor when we have the results. We can’t always say how long your visit will take but you may be in the clinic for most of the morning or afternoon. A Nurse Specialist is available in the clinic if you wish to discuss your breast problem with her.

What will the doctor do?

One of the breast clinic doctors will see you and examine you. This may be all that may be needed and the doctor will explain the cause of your problem to you.

When you see the doctor you can have a partner, relative or friend with you in the consulting room and they can stay with you while you are examined if you want them to. There will be a female nurse present while you are examined.

What tests will I have?

You may need an X-ray (mammogram) or ultrasound (hand held scan) of the breast. These will be done in the clinic. The doctor will then see you and explain the results to you. If you X-ray or ultrasound and examination are normal you may not need any more tests in the clinic and you can go home.

There may be no need for any further appointments or check-ups.

What happens if there is a lump?

If you have come to the clinic because of a lump, or the doctor finds one, it is important to find out what it is. If you have a cyst (a fluid filled lump), this can be emptied using a small needle.

If the lump is solid the doctor may remove some cells or breast tissue from it, again using a needle, and these cells/tissue will be looked at under the microscope. The results will take about one week to come through and usually we will give you an appointment before you leave the clinic to return to be told the results.

What happens if I have cancer?

Most patients in the clinic will not have cancer. For people who do have breast cancer diagnosed, the doctor and Nurse Specialist would discuss and plan the treatment with them. Everyone is different and what suits some people may not suit others. The Nurse Specialist is available to help and advise about any treatment.

What if I want to know anything else?

A Nurse Specialist will be available in the clinic when you attend. If you have any further questions please speak to her. The doctor who sees you in clinic will offer you a copy of the letter that is sent to your GP.

You do not have to have a copy if you do not want it.

Other pages you may find helpful are:

You can ask for these when you come to the clinic. You can also ring NHS 111 for advice and help. NHS 111 is a confidential 24 hour helpline staffed by trained nurses.

Leaflet to download

You can download the information on this page as a leaflet.pdf

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