Breast cysts are fluid-filled sacs inside the breast that may cause some discomfort but are generally not cancerous. When a breast lump hurts or causes concern, physicians can aspirate it, or drain the fluid, to rule out cancer and alleviate the soreness.
If the cyst contains watery fluid and disappears once it has been drained, no further tests are required. If it contains bloody fluid, your doctor may perform a biopsy to look for cancer cells.
Your physician may recommend you have a ductogram or ductography if you are having abnormal nipple discharge in order diagnose the cause - which in most cases is benign.
What is a ductogram?
Ductograms, or galactograms, are special contrast-enhanced mammograms used to x-ray and view breast ducts.
After cleaning and sterilizing the nipple, technicians will manually press on the breast to extract fluid. Then a radiologist will guide a small needle into the breast duct and inject a small amount of contrast media through a syringe before taking mammograms in order to view the area. The contrast media helps enhance duct anatomy on the images.
Will it be painful?
Ductograms may be mildly uncomfortable, but are rarely painful. Pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen and warm compresses will alleviate any lingering discomfort.
How long will it take?
Ductograms take from 30 to 60 minutes and no special preparation is required, but if you're pregnant you should notify the technician to be sure you're adequately protected from the x-rays used in the procedure.