Breast Symptomatic Service
The Ursula Keyes Breast Unit was opened in 2003 after a successful fundraising project to develop and build of OPD3. We offer a comprehensive range of outpatient services. These include clinical assessment, imaging by such as mammogram and ultrasound scan, and biopsy as necessary. We work closely with the radiology and pathology services to offer a one stop assessment and rapid diagnosis for patients referred with breast symptoms. We see women with concerns about a family history of breast cancer and breast screening diagnosed patients. We also offer holistic needs assessment, health and wellbeing and remote surveillance for patients living with and beyond treatment for breast disease. We also offer women breast reconstruction when appropriate both at the time of mastectomy or as a delayed procedure.
We work closely with our oncology colleagues at the Clatterbridge Centre in Liverpool. We meet weekly as a multidisciplinary team to ensure our patients undergoing tests and treatments for breast cancer are offered the best evidence-based treatment. We aim to offer inclusion into clinical trials, which are not only important to provide future patients the benefits of evidence based tests and treatments but have also been shown to improve care for patients treated in units which actively participate in clinical trials.
We participate in the daily triaging of patients on the national Electronic Referral System.
We aim to see everyone who needs a new appointment within two weeks of receiving the referral from the GP.
New symptomatic breast clinics take place on Monday afternoons and Tuesday mornings. These clinics are supported by radiology so women who need mammograms can have these and they will be reported during the clinic. Mammograms are not normally indicated in women under 40 years (younger women are less likely to have a problem that needs imaging and these tests are less effective in younger women). There is a separate clinic on Tuesday afternoon for women under 30 who can have a targeted breast ultrasound scan then if needed.
Some women will may have already had a telephone screening consultation. These women may need clinical examination or may proceed straight to imaging. Other women will have a clinical assessment and consultation with a breast specialist first. We aim to arrange all mammograms, ultrasound scans and biopsies on the day. Occasionally further appointments are given for certain tests that are needed.
At first appointment women will have their height, weight and body max index measured. Following the COVID pandemic a temperature check and covid-19 symptoms will be checked. Face mask or covering should be worn. Please do not attend if you or any close contacts have had symptoms in the last 14 days. The first clinic appointment can take some time if all tests are needed. Please come prepared to wait perhaps with a drink of water and a snack if necessary
Most patients are given a diagnosis, explanation and discharged the same day. Biopsy results will be in four-10 days. Further imaging will be arranged as soon as possible but usually within 14 days. Results if not available and given on the day will be arranged by telephone where possible, or as further face to face consultation if needed.
The specialist breast care nurses can offer psychosocial support, advice and assess symptoms in the clinics. The specialist nurses and surgeons work together to provide a team approach to ensure that tests and treatments are offered as soon as possible where needed.
We run an enhanced recovery pathway for patients undergoing surgery aiming for day case surgery. We provide preoperative assessment and information, to minimise time in hospital and to reduce the time taken to recover from the surgery and anaesthetic. This includes advice about fasting times before surgery, diet supplements for those having larger operations if necessary. Activity advice and exercises are given for the post-operative period to reduce the time to recovery. .
We have patient information leaflets on many breast care topics including symptoms, treatments and clinical trials. We recommend the Breast cancer care / breast cancer now / Macmillan websites insert links here
- New symptomatic breast clinics run every - Monday PM & Tuesday AM
- Young women clinic Alternate - Tuesday PM (under 35s)
Meet the Team
Breast Unit Consultants
You can find out more specific advice at the following websites:
Macmillan Cancer Support
Breast Cancer Now