Information for the public

There are no serious concerns about this procedure’s safety, but there is not much good evidence about how well it works for breast fibroadenoma. This procedure can be used but only when patients have regular checks to see how well it is working. This is because of uncertainties about its effects.

A fibroadenoma is a very common benign (not cancer) breast condition, the commonest symptom being a lump. If the lump becomes very large or painful, it can be removed using traditional or keyhole surgery. High-intensity focused ultrasound involves using high-frequency sound waves that heat up the tissues in the lump. The aim is to reduce its size over time and possibly completely destroy it.

NHS Choices may be a good place to find out more. NICE’s information on interventional procedures guidance has more about what a procedure is and how we assess them.

Is this procedure right for me?

If you’ve been offered this procedure, your healthcare professionals should discuss with you what is involved, and tell you about the risks and benefits. They should talk with you about your options, and listen carefully to your views and concerns. Your family can be involved too, if you wish. All of this should happen before you agree (consent) to have the procedure. You should also be told how to find more information about the procedure. Read more about making decisions about your care.

Some questions to think about

  • What does the procedure involve?
  • What are the possible benefits? How likely am I to get them?
  • What are the risks or side effects? How likely are they?
  • What happens if the procedure doesn’t work or something goes wrong?
  • What happens if I don’t want the procedure? Are there other treatments available?

ISBN: 978-1-4731-2680-0

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