Breast Care Outpatient Clinic Zwolle (EN) Breast Care Outpatient Clinic Zwolle (EN)
The Isala Breast Care Outpatient Clinic (Mammapolikliniek) is a special outpatient clinic for women and men with breast abnormalities. You will also be referred to the Breast Care Outpatient Clinic if further examination is needed after the breast cancer screening programme. Here you can read information about the department and about the various examinations that can be performed in the event of an abnormality in the breast.
Preparation for your first visit
During your visit to this outpatient clinic, you will be examined by a team of specialists. We aim to provide you with clarity about the nature of your symptoms and the possible treatment within one day. Sometimes an additional examination is needed on another day. As it can be an (in)tense day, we recommend that you ask your partner, a family member or friend to accompany you.
Breast Care Outpatient Clinic Employees
During your first visit to the Breast Care Outpatient Clinic, you will (possibly) have to deal with the following employees and specialists:
- doctor's assistant
- radio diagnostic laboratory technician
- nursing specialist
- onology nurse manager
Program for the day
You will start at the Radiology Department in the morning. Here you can take a seat in the waiting room until you are fetched by the radio diagnostic laboratory technician. The radio diagnostic laboratory technician performs the examinations in collaboration with the radiologist. An X-ray (mammography) and an ultrasound of the breast or breasts are generally taken (with a few exceptions). If an abnormality is found in the breast, the radiologist may decide to extract some cells from the abnormality through a thin needle during the ultrasound. This is called a biopsy or a cytological examination. These tests take between 30 and 45 minutes.
After these examinations, you will have an appointment with the surgeon at the Breast Care Outpatient Clinic. The surgeon will review your current symptoms and your history of illness and perform a physical examination. If you have an extensive history of illness, it is possible that this will be followed by a discussion with the nursing specialist. The surgeon will discuss the results of the X-ray and the ultrasound with you and tell you whether additional examinations, treatment and/or monitoring are required. If a biopsy was also performed, the results will not be known yet and an afternoon appointment will be planned for you. Your doctor will be notified of this in writing.
You will only have an afternoon appointment with the surgeon or the nursing specialist at the Breast Care Outpatient Clinic if a biopsy was performed. All the results are then known and discussed in a consultation with all the employees and specialists of the Breast Care Outpatient Clinic. The surgeon or nursing specialist will explain the nature of the breast symptoms. If additional examinations, treatment and/or monitoring are required, this will be discussed with you and appointments will be planned for this purpose. The aim is to arrange an appointment as soon as possible. An ultrasound-guided histological breast biopsy can usually take place the same afternoon.
If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer or a precursor stage thereof, you will meet with the oncology nurse manager. She will provide you with additional information about the diagnosis and the treatment and the consequences of these on your daily life. She will also discuss who your points of contact are during your treatment and how you can reach them. Your doctor will be notified of this in writing.
X-ray of the breasts (mammography)
A breast X-ray is called a mammogram. Xsually, two X-rays are taken of each breast. To give as clear a picture of the breast as possible, your breast is pressed flat between two plates for a few seconds. This can be painful. This is necessary to clearly display the breast tissue.
Ultrasound makes use of sound waves to visualise your breast and often your armpit too. You will lie on an examination table. A gel-like liquid is applied to your breast for good sound wave conduction. The lab technician then scans the skin of the breast with a small instrument which emits the sound waves. The structure of the breast is displayed on a screen. This examination is not painful.
Biopsy (cytological examination)
A biopsy is performed by the radiologist. An ultrasound creates an image of the breast abnormality. The radiologist punctures the abnormality with a thin needle and extracts some cells. These cells are examined under the microscope by the pathologist. Another word for a cell is 'cyto'. That is why this examination is called a cytological examination. As the fine needle aspiration biopsy is often just as painful as receiving an anaesthetic, no anaesthetic is used in this examination.
Ultrasound-guided breast biopsy
If the biopsy with a thin needle (cytological examination) provides insufficient information, an ultrasound-guided breast biopsy can be performed by the radiologist. The examination proceeds in almost the same way as with a fine needle aspiration biopsy. The skin is numbed for a breast biopsy because a small incision is made in the skin and a thicker needle is used than with a fine needle aspiration biopsy. With this needle, pieces of tissue can be removed from the abnormality. These are examined by the pathologist. If you take blood thinners, it is important to report this in advance. This medication must be discontinued a few days in advance in consultation with the surgeon.
If you have any questions, please call the nursing specialist or nurse manager t +31 088 624 34 87 (available from Monday to Friday between 08:30 and 17:00).
Making an appointment
Your doctor can make an appointment for you. The Breast Care Outpatient Clinic is available on workdays between 08:30 and 17:00 on t +31 088 624 34 87. You will then receive confirmation of your appointment with the time and place you are expected from the secretary of the Breast Care Outpatient Clinic.
If you can't make it, let us know as soon as possible and we will make a new appointment.