Intraductal papilloma - Surgery

Intraductal Papilloma 

 Intraductal papilloma are small benign tumors that develop in the milk duct of the breast. These tumors contain blood arteries, glands, and fibrous tissue. 

Causes of Intraductal Papilloma 

According to healthcare professionals, there’s no identifiable cause for intraductal papilloma but it often occurs in women between the ages of 35 and 55. besides, there are no known factors for intraductal papilloma. 

Symptoms of Intraductal Papilloma 

Common Symptoms of intraductal papilloma include: 

  • Breast enlargement 
  • Breast lumps 
  • Nipple discharge 
  • Breast pain 

Intraductal papilloma exhibits similar symptoms to those of other breast tumors therefore, if the patient notices or feels a lump in her breast, it is highly recommended that she sees a doctor immediately. At the clinic, the doctor can address any concerns the patient might have. 

Diagnosis of Intraductal Papilloma 

Because in most cases intraductal papilloma cannot be felt, the doctor may recommend a breast ultrasound imaging test if he/she suspects the presence of a tumor. An ultrasound imaging test is mostly preferred due to its effectiveness in showing papillomas over a standard mammogram. But a mammogram will also be done to look for any further abnormalities. 

Other tests that may be done: 

  • Breast biopsy: This procedure involves the doctor inserting a thin needle into the patient’s breast and removing a small amount of the affected tissue which are sent to the lab for further analysis. A breast biopsy is done to rule out cancer. 
  • Microscopic examination: For patients with nipple discharge, the doctor may find it necessary to do a microscopic examination to look for cancer cells. 
  • Ductogram: This is a type of X-ray that helps the doctor determine the underlying causes of a discharge. The doctor injects contrast dye into the patient’s breast for a better view of the cells in the X-ray. 

Treatment of Intraductal Papilloma 

Surgical intervention to remove the papilloma and the affected part of the milk duct is recommended.  The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and involves the doctor making an incision to remove the papilloma. 

After the procedure, the patient might not need to spend an extended period in the hospital, however, this is dependent on the severity of the papilloma. The incision will leave a small wound on the patient, typically close to the nipple which will eventually fade away. 

The presence of cancerous cells will be checked in the tissues removed during surgery. Additional treatment may be needed if cancerous cells are discovered. 

Prognosis of Ductal Papilloma 

Intraductal papillomas don’t generally raise the risk of one developing breast cancer. The outcome is usually positive for individuals with one papilloma. However, cancer risk could be raised in: 

  • Women with a family history of cancer 
  • Women who get papillomas at an early age 
  • Women with many papillomas 
  • Women whose biopsy revealed cancerous cell 


The exact cause of intraductal papillomas is not known, but they are thought to be related to hormonal changes and imbalances.

Treatment for intraductal papillomas depends on the size and severity of the growth. Small intraductal papillomas may not require treatment, while larger or symptomatic papillomas may be removed surgically.

Yes, intraductal papillomas can recur after treatment. Regular monitoring and follow-up with a healthcare provider is important to monitor for any changes or recurrence of intraductal papillomas.

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