Total duct excision

Nipple discharge
Total duct excision is an operation carried out for nipple discharge when the discharge is coming from multiple ducts, or for single duct discharge when a probe cannot be passed into the discharging duct.
The operation is done under general anaesthetic. The surgeon makes an incision at the lower edge of the areola, where the darker skin of the nipple meets the paler skin of the breast. The skin of the areola is then lifted and the underlying duct tissue removed. This tissue removed is sent for analysis by the pathologist. The wound is then sutured and a dressing applied.
Once the pathologist has examined the tissue under the microscope (which can take two to three weeks), we will arrange an appointment to see you for a wound check and the pathology results.
Usually no further action is required but occasionally, cancerous cells (either ductal carcinoma in situ, DCIS, or invasive cancer) are found and further treatment would be advised.
Complications of this operation include loss of nipple sensation and reactivity, scar, central dent or nipple retraction, bleeding, bruising, infection, pain and discomfort, recurrence of the discharge, need for further treatment including further surgery, risk of anaesthetic, deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism.