DOI: 10.1093/bjs/znad258.209 ISSN:

259 Avoiding Face-to-Face Appointments Following Benign Breast Biopsies: Improving The Patient Experience Without Compromising Safety

D Mistry, H Shaker, A Abbas, M S Absar, K Williams, C Wright, N Nasir
  • Surgery



Minimising face to face (F2F) contact can reduce the costs of outpatient clinics and increase patient satisfaction. Patients undergoing biopsy for suspected benign disease need discussing at an MDT meeting as per national guidelines, however, the majority of these do not need further treatment. We aimed to assess the utility and safety of managing patients without a further F2F appointment following benign MDT discussion.


A retrospective case-note review was performed on 100 patients discussed at the benign biopsy MDT between June and August 2020. Clinicopathological data was collected on presenting symptoms, histopathology, management, and subsequent requirement for F2F appointment.


Median age was 43 years (range 25-88). Eighty-one patients (81%) presented with a lump or nipple discharge. The final diagnosis was normal in 22(22%) patients, a diagnosis of fibroadenoma in 35(35%), a B3 lesion in 8 (8%) patients and another benign diagnosis in the remaining 35(35%) patients. Sixteen (16%) patients required surgery or vacuum-assisted-Biopsy, 18(18%) required further clinical or radiology follow up and 66(66%) were reassured and discharged. Forty-three (43%) patients were informed of the MDT plan by letter and 42(42%) by telephone. There were no malignancies identified in any patients. Fourteen (14%) patients required a F2F appointment most commonly because of further clinical review, patient request or interpreter requirements.


The vast majority of patients undergoing benign biopsy can avoid a further F2F appointment, even if further biopsies or intervention is needed. This can reduce the burden on outpatient clinics whilst improving patient convenience.

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