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Treatment of Fibroadenoma

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Treatment of Fibroadenoma  

What are the treatments for fibroadenoma?

As fibroadenomas are non-cancerous (i.e., benign) tumors of the breast that do not increase the risk of breast cancer, fibroadenomas that do not cause symptoms are not treated.[1]

However, some fibroadenomas cause symptoms of pain and/or an abnormal appearance of the breast.[1] Fibroadenomas that cause symptoms can be treated by surgical removal or cryoablation (i.e., treating the tumor by freezing it).[1, 2]

Disadvantages of surgical removal of a fibroadenoma include:[1, 2]

• Procedure usually performed as inpatient operation.
• General anesthesia is commonly used.
• Usually requires post-operative use of prescription medications for pain
• Average recovery time is 2 to 3 days.
• Formation of scar tissue at the site of incision
• Possible formation of scar tissue inside the breast or dimpling of the breast from surgical removal of the tumor
• Damage to the duct system of the breast may occur.
• Difficulty in interpretation of mammograms in approximately half of patients who underwent surgical removal

Disadvantages of cryoablation for treatment of fibroadenoma include:[2]

• Requires site of puncture in order to insert the probe
• Disappearance of the tumor after cryoablation is not immediate.

However, cryoablation for treatment of fibroadenoma has the following advantages:[1, 2]

• Performed as an outpatient procedure
• No sedation is required.
• Local anesthesia is commonly used.
• Ultrasound may be used to guide the probe in some types of cryoablation.
• Lack of need for stitches
• Rarely requires post-operative use of prescription medications for pain
• Most patients are able to return to normal activities the day after the procedure.
• Lower incidence of scarring
• Lower incidence of other complications
• Lower incidence of difficulty in interpretation of mammograms in patients who underwent cryoablation


1. Sanarus. Benign breast disease: Frequently asked questions. Sanarus. Accessed at www.sanarus.com/patinfofaqs.html.
2. Medical Procedure News. Cryoablation preferred option for treatment of breast fibroadenoma. News-Medical.Net. 09/14/04. Accessed at www.news-medical.net

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