scary milk duct removal operation


I am 36 and i have just had a scan after having a bloody discharge from my right nipple for a few weeks. The consultant said there was nothin obvious but then said that if the discharge continued when he sees me next (end of Sept) then he wants to remove all the milk ducts and do a biopsy. then he went on to say that he was letting me know now so i could prepare myself and that in very rare instances the nipple can be lost!!!
OMG!!! being me i went very quiet and nodded in the right places but i do have a few questions ( if anyone could help) Is this surgery really needed? if i have it done will my boobs look different? I have since having my youngest (now 13) suffered from cycliar mastitis - would they do the same to both nipples? Is it safe? what is the likelyhood that i will lose my nipple???

Hi Jacqui2510
I had a blood discharge from my nipple and had a mammorgram and blood tests done. They all came back clear and was told I had inductal papilloma. I was offered to have my milk ducts removed if I wanted! as bleeding had lasted 4 months. I was very nervous but made decission to have op. The operation itself was simple and I was in as a day case. The scar a very neat around aerola. The nipple itself had lost all feeling and become flat almost indented but I was pleased with results.
I have gone on to have more treatment but thats another story. I would definately recommend the surgery . I was never warned of losing my nipple but told feeling would go! I was the same and went very quiet.Its always once leaving that question pop into your head! Please feel free to pm me if you have more questions. Hope this helps.

Thanks, I haven’t felt able to talk to any family because we have a horrendous history for BC and I know they’d overreact. Your comments have made me feel much better x
Hope you get through the rest ok xx

Thank you so much for your comments. I wasn’t sure where to go and ask questions. You’ve made me feel much happier. I hope your feeling better soon xx

Hi jacqui2510,

I also had this when I was 36. I had bleeding from one nipple and was told it was an intraductal papilloma. I had the ducts removed, it was done as day surgery and yes I was also very nervous at the time. My scar, which is as good as invisible, is around the edge of the areola. I have a little bit of loss of sensation in my nipple but unlike Tedoris above, my nipple looks exactly the same. I did have to wait for results from the surgery as the removed bits were sent for analysis but luckily it was benign.

That was 5 years ago and the breast has been fine – it was the other one that went and got bc!


I am feeling abit more normal now. I had never even heard of half the stuff i have learned in the last few days. I didn’t feel like i could ask family because of family history of BC. Thanks for getting back to me. x

I’m 58 and also started with a bloody discharge. My OBYN told me to see a surgeon after the mamogram and sonogram showed no more than enlarged ducts. She also feels it’s a papilloma but wants to make sure. I’m a bit scared and won’t find out the details till later. Reading your comments has given me an insight to ask certain questions such as the loss of sensation and shape. Is there anything else I should be concerned and question the doctor about? He does not believe is malignant but of course won’t know for sure until they go in.

Hi Lonelygirl,
I started with a bloody discharge from my left nipple last May and was also told that it was likely to be a papiloma and that a lumpectomy would remove this. My op was in Oct’11 however the results showed DCIS and a further two ops followed in Nov and Dec’11. Unfortunately for me these showed positive margins and I have just had a mastectomy and LD flap reconstruction 4 wks ago.
Everyone is different though and albeit good to hear of other experiences you must focus on what your doctor tells you as fact and try not to let your imagination run riot. It does take a couple of weeks for results but I found focusing on each day as it came easier. Try to keep yourself busy if possible.

Keep a small note book with you if you can and every time you think of a question write it down. It sounds silly but it also meant I slept better as I wouldn’t keep thinking things through lying in bed and when I had the chance I used this site amongst others to find answers and experiences similar to mine.

My incisions for the lumpectomies were all done in a 12 to 6 o’clock crescent to the right of my nipple. I expected the worse however although there was some change is shape it was actually very little, I’m a 36D. I was told there was a chance that the nipple would either loose sensation or increase. In my case it increased which just meant it went hard often and was a little uncomfortable but not unmanageable. My first two incisions were 2cm sq each and the third 4cm.

I know it is really scary and you can feel incredibly alone but be assured that you are not on your own and if it is DCIS then it is treatable. If you need to speak to someone call the BCC support line as I found this to be an incredible support even if you don’t know what questions to ask they will listen and guide you. A massive help for me!!
Good luck
BigBird x

I was just told I needed to have my milk ducts removed. All mamograms and ultrasounds were normal but I still have a bloody discharge in my right breast. Not really sure if I should go ahead and have the surgery or not. It is a scary thought as I have so many other health issues from being diabetic since 1983.
I watched my best friend die of breast cancer because she didn’t belive in medical intervention… I was really mad at her after she died… don’t want to do that to my kids.

can l ask if anyof you had any pain in the nipple and area at the tme of discharge, l go on 25th to the hspital and am scared as dr cannot find any lumps, my nipple and surrounding area is throbbing but that could be in my mind

thank you

In 2004, I had a burning sensation in my left boob, with a horrible yellow discharge. It was so painful. I went to A & E, where I was not checked physically, simply given a course of anti - biotics, which seemed to clear up the problem.

However, had I known what I know now, I would have returned to my doctor, (I had to go to hospital out of my home town as I was visiting people) and insisted on further examinations.

I can’t help feeling that that was the start of my problems.


Yes, I did have burning sensation in my nipple, it was awful.

I also went in 2007, as I had a feeling of something being there, but the GP could find nothing back then. For the last two years, I have had a feeling of something and it was only in January, that I went to the doctors and have spent three months dancing around at clinic.

I now have fat necrosis, from a lumpectomy, something that I wasn’t told about till it happened. It seems that one complication after another has happened to my left breast.

Good luck for the 25th. Let us know how you get on.

Can I ask a vain question? Well let me start, I have a dark brown discharge from one duct in my left nipple. I’ve done the mammograms and sonogram and have been referred to an oncology surgeon. I believe he will either clean out the duct or remove it entirely. If he has to do that kind of surgery would it be stupid to ask him to go ahead and have a breast lift at the same time? I mean if he’s gonna do surgery anyway. I would like them to be perky again. I ruined them when I decided to breastfeed them.