Beacon Hospital Breast Centre offers patients swift access to our triple assessment clinic run by our team of Consultant Breast Surgeons, Consultant Radiologists, experienced radiographers and BreastCare Clinical Nurse Specialists.
Our Breast Care Centre offers a complete service with everything from diagnostics, to treatment plans and all the elements which may be required during treatment including; surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, imaging, support, inpatient care if the need should arise, pain management, physiotherapy, and reconstructive surgical options.
Our triple assessment clinics run twice weekly providing patients with access to the most technologically advanced diagnostic radiology equipment in Ireland. Appointments can be made with GP referral or by self referral.
On the day of your appointment, your Breast Specialist will perform a same day triple assessment where the need for one is clinically indicated. Please note, not all patients who attend will require a triple assessment. This service is delivered in accordance with guidelines set by the National Quality Assurance Standards for Symptomatic Breast Disease and the HIQA standards.
A triple assessment is comprised of the following:
• Clinical examination by a breast specialist.
• A breast ultrasound or digital mammogram.
• A core biopsy and/or fine-needle aspiration as indicated.
The main diagnostics undertaken on the day may include any of the aforementioned. Please see below descriptions of each of these diagnostic methods.
A mammogram is an X-Ray of the breasts and is a good technique enabling us to look at the entire breast on both sides. Mammograms are generally performed on women over the age of 35 who have presented to our breast specialist with a breast symptom. These are not normally performed in women under the age of 35 due to the thickness of the breast tissue. The thickness of the breast tissue in women under 35 can limit the value of the mammogram.
The mammogram is performed by a skilled radiographer who will take two images of each breast. One of the front of the breast, and the other from the side. In order to obtain a satisfactory image, your breast must be compressed/flattened. This is of the utmost importance in obtaining a clear image and while it may cause slight discomfort it will not harm your breast in any way. Compressing the breast has the added benefit of a lower dose of radiation being required for imaging.
Ultrasound examinations are used in all age groups to investigate lumps in the breast. They are also used to focus in on any abnormalities that may have come to light during a mammogram. The ultrasound is not used to look at the entire breast but rather to zone in on specific areas. Ultrasounds are used in younger women (below 35 years of age) to give a clearer picture of the breast as the tissue may be too dense for a mammogram to be suitable.
Your breast specialist may decide that a biopsy is the next step necessary to make a conclusive diagnosis. This procedure is carried out under a local anaesthetic, meaning that the area is sufficiently numbed, in order to minimise any discomfort to you. During this procedure, a hollow needle is used to remove a small core of tissue from the lump for analysis.
You will be contacted by our team to discuss your results or arrange a follow-up visit within 2 weeks of your initial appointment. During this call or visit, you may be reassured that no further action is required, or an action plan of proposed treatment may be laid out for you.
Please note that all cases will have been discussed in a multidisciplinary team meeting to ensure input is given from all the experts involved in the care plan prior to your follow-up. This ensures that we have an action plan there for you and are ready to help you in all the necessary steps. All treatment, if required, can be carried out under our roof meaning less stress and a seamless journey is provided for our patients.