Is Having a Masectomy a Good Option for a Person with Just Painful Fibroids?

I have very small, dense breasts that are pretty much rittled with fibroids. I've already had one taken out for a biopsy and I think I'm feeling another one already. I had it checked out and all is well but I'm in a lot of pain. My doctor has just told me that I have fibroids and they're going to be painful. Would having a masectomy/reconstruction be a good option? And if so, would insurance cover it? Thanks!

Doctor Answers 5

Mastectomy for Painful Breast Masses

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The symptom of painful masses in the breasts is very common. Fortunately there are several things that can be done to reduce these symptoms. First is a no caffeine diet. Eliminating caffeine as much as possible can frequently significantly ameliorate the symptoms.  The major problem is that caffeine is found in many foods that you would not normally suspect. To do this successfully requires dedication and research and, frequently, a dietition. If this does not work, there are several drugs that can control the symptoms. Only if these methods are not successful would anyone consider a subcutaneous mastectomy, since there is no way to remove all the breast tissue and the mastectomy occasionally does not provide the sought relief.


Highlands Plastic Surgeon

Mastectomy for Fibroids

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Mastectomy surgery is usually not recommended for treatment of fibroids.  

I would discuss your concerns with your primary care physician and gynecologist.   In the event that all medical workup and treatments fail, i would recommend consultation with a breast specialist, member of the American Society of Breast Surgeons.


I hope this helps.

Dr. Gill


Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Fibrocystic disease

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A mastectomy is not generally considered a common treatment for painful fibrous breasts.  Please see a breast surgeon to learn more about non surgical medical management options for your pain.  Feel better soon.

Dr. Sugene Kim

Fibroids of the breasts are not a usual indication for mastectomy surgery

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If you experience symptoms related to breast fibroids (lumpiness, discomfort, swelling that fluctuates with time and your menstrual cycle), you are not alone! 

Fibroids are benign lumps in the breasts that are often genetic but they are not related to cancer.  A mastectomy (removal of all the breast tissue) is NOT usually indicated because of fibroids alone.

To properly evaluate your breasts and to receive the most appropriate opinion, you should see a Breast Surgeon or Surgical Oncologist (General Surgeon) who specializes in breast surgery.  This is different from a Plastic Surgeon, who typically performs a breast reconstruction when a lumpectomy or mastectomy is performed by a General Surgeon. 

A General Surgeon who specializes in the breasts will thoroughly examine your breasts, take a family history of breast disease, can perform an ultrasound, mammogram and/or other imaging as indicated, and can advise and educate you about your options about your breasts.

I hope this information is helpful!

Karen M. Horton, MD, MSc, FACS, FRCSC

Plastic Surgery, Aesthetic Surgery, Reconstructive Surgery

Karen M. Horton, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

Fibrocystic disease of the breast

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What You are describing is Fibrocystic disease of the breast associated with mastodenia(painfull Breast).

The condition of fibrocustic disease is very common in women, it is a benign process. When associated with pain, it should be manged first medically.

Subcutaneous mastectomy was done on these cases in the 70s and 80s. There are no guarantees that the pain will disappear.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.