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September 1970

On Aspiration of Breast Cysts

Arch Surg. 1970;101(3):447. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1970.01340270095027

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In this issue of the Archives, Bolton makes a strong case for widening the indications for the diagnostic needling of breast masses using the shortage of hospital beds as one of the points in his argument. Although the conscientious surgeon will applaud vigorously any reasonable method of reducing the manifold problem of hospital beds for surgical patients, a routine predicated upon this ideal alone may present drawbacks. Furthermore, a word of caution seems appropriate on such a seemingly simple approach to all breast nodules. Pitfalls are not unknown. These include the recovery of bloody fluid on aspiration, as well as the recovery of no fluid at all, or a disproportionately small amount of fluid. The refilling of the cyst in a rapid manner can be a worry to patient and surgeon alike.

Another query concerning the author's plan is raised by the recommendation that later developing cysts be aspirated. If

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