A major duct excision involves removing the end of all milk ducts through a surgical operation. The tissue taken out will be taken to the laboratory for examination.

A major duct excision is often performed under general anesthetic and will take about 20-30 minutes. It is a minor day case procedure, and recovery is rapid. After the excision process, the patient is allowed to go home. The patient may experience a little bruising around the wound, which will require mild analgesics for a day or two.

Benefits of Major Duct Excision

The advantage of a major duct excision is that tissue samples can be examined to determine the cause of your nipple discharge. In the majority of cases, the cause may be the widening of milk ducts (duct ectasia), which occurs with age or wart-like growths in milk ducts (intraductal papilloma). A few cases of early cancer cells may also be found, which may require further testing and treatment.

Occasionally, the operation may be recommended when a patient has had recurrent abscesses (buildup of pus) in the breast to minimize the risk of further infections.

Preparing For Major Duct Excision

Before your operation, you will undergo a pre-operative assessment, which may include a blood test, ECG, MRSA swab test, and blood pressure check. You may have to stop eating or drinking anything a few hours before the procedure.

During The Operation

You’ll be put under anesthesia first before the surgeon makes an incision around the edge of the dark area surrounding your nipple (the areola) to remove the ducts. The ducts will then be sent to the lab for examination. The surgeon will stitch the wound using dissolvable stitches and cover it with a waterproof dressing.

The doctor may advise you to avoid heavy lifting and stretching and not to drive for at least 24 hours after the operation. You’ll also be given antibiotics to prevent infection.

Our physicians will discuss the results of the biopsy with you and what to expect. However, if you experience complications or discomfort from the wound, or have any concerns, do not hesitate to visit us at Texas Breast Care or call us at 214.379.2700.