In many cases, fibroadenomas require no treatment. However, some women choose surgical removal for their peace of mind.
If your doctor is reasonably certain that your breast lump is a fibroadenoma — based on the results of the clinical breast exam, imaging test and biopsy — you might not need surgery.
You might decide against surgery because:
- Surgery can distort the shape and texture of the breast
- Fibroadenomas sometimes shrink or disappear on their own
- The breast has multiple fibroadenomas that appear to be stable — no changes in size on an ultrasound compared to an earlier ultrasound
If you choose not to have surgery, it's important to monitor the fibroadenoma with follow-up visits to your doctor for breast ultrasounds to detect changes in the appearance or size of the lump. If you later become worried about the fibroadenoma, you can reconsider surgery to remove it.
Your doctor might recommend surgery to remove the fibroadenoma if one of your tests — the clinical breast exam, an imaging test or a biopsy — is abnormal or if the fibroadenoma is extremely large, gets bigger or causes symptoms.
Procedures to remove a fibroadenoma include:
- Lumpectomy or excisional biopsy. In this procedure, a surgeon removes breast tissue and sends it to a lab to check for cancer.
- Cryoablation. Your doctor inserts a thin, wand-like device (cryoprobe) through your skin to the fibroadenoma. A gas is used to freeze and destroy the tissue.
After a fibroadenoma is removed, it's possible for one or more new fibroadenomas to develop. New breast lumps need to be assessed with a mammogram, ultrasound and possibly biopsy — to determine if the lump is a fibroadenoma or might become cancerous.