Breast services

We use the very best diagnostic and treatment techniques, using state of the art screening equipment.

Our team of specialist surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, radiographers, breast care nurses and support staff run our breast services for women and men referred to our service.

Breast screening

We run the breast screening programme for the whole of Teesside and parts of Durham and North Yorkshire. If you are registered with a GP you will receive a letter inviting you for a mammogram (breast screening) every three years if you are aged between 50 and 70. Currently some GP practices are involved in a pilot study inviting women from 47 to 73. It is very important that you come for your screening appointment. It is a way of potentially detecting breast cancer at a very early stage.

Screening mammograms can help us to see changes in the breast which are too small to be felt by you or your GP. We have invested in the latest digital mammography screening technology at the University Hospital of North Tees. We are one of the largest screening services in the UK to be using the state of the art digital equipment, which means that the mammograms can be checked for quality straightaway and our doctors and specialist radiographers can look at the images on a computer screen.

Our mammography rooms have been fitted with mood lighting to help you to relax and provide you with a much more pleasant environment. Our breast screening service is provided from two static sites at the University Hospital of North Tees and One Life Middlesbrough and our four mobile units cover 13 sites across the screening area we cover.

If you live in Middlesbrough and travel to the University Hospital of North Tees for your breast symptomatic service and screening appointments, you can claim back your travel expenses. To find out how to claim, please see the national guidance here.

Contact

Breast screening unit
University Hospital of North Tees
Stockton
01642 624261.

Breast symptomatic service

In our symptomatic breast clinic we see everyone referred to us with a breast symptom by their GP. We aim to see every person referred within two weeks in our breast clinics at the University Hospital of North Tees or the University Hospital of Hartlepool. If you are over 35 you will come to the one stop clinic where you will have a mammogram and clinical examination and any (or none) of the following – ultrasound scan, needle biopsy.

If you are under 35 you will come straight to clinic for examination and may have an ultrasound scan or biopsy. You may just need reassurance and advice. Male patients are also seen in clinic and have investigations as appropriate. We have a team of trained breast specialist doctors and nurses and radiographers in our clinics. Most people will have all their results the same day and need no further visits but if further tests are required you may be given another appointment to come back for results or we may write to you.

Lymphoedema clinics

Lymphoedema is one of the side effects of breast cancer treatments, caused by a build up of lymph fluid in the surface tissues of the body. Our breast care nurses provide specialist lymphoedma advice, support and management for people who have lymphoedema following breast cancer treatments. You can contact the breast care nurse to discuss on 01642 624371.

Nipple tattooing following reconstructive surgery

If you have had reconstructive surgery we know that for the women we treat this can mark the end of a long and emotional journey. Some women find that having a nipple reconstruction or even a tattoo which creates the illusion of a nipple gives them more confidence and feeling of completeness. Our breast care nurses carry out this procedure in the breast unit.

A consultation is carried out prior to the procedure and then consent taken. Most women do not need any local anaesthetic for this but it can be used if necessary. As natural pigments are used they fade over time but top-ups can be carried out at intervals. You can contact the breast care nurse to discuss on 01642 624371 or 01429 522387.

Family history service

We provide a nurse led family history clinic for any woman who has been assessed by the genetics service to be at moderate or high risk of developing breast cancer. Anyone who has a family history of breast cancer can be referred by their GP to the genetics service at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough. By filling in a questionnaire and sending back to The James Cook University Hospital your risk will be assessed and if necessary you will be referred onto one of our family history clinics. This may mean you will be offered more frequent screening and if at very high risk.

Breast prosthesis clinics

Our breast care nurses provide a breast prosthesis fitting service for women. If you have a mastectomy (removal of the breast) you will be offered a temporary prosthesis after surgery and when wound is healed you can attend our fitter for a silicone prosthesis and bra advice. You can contact us to discuss on 01642 624079 or 01429 522387.

Breast surgery

Our surgeons are using pioneering techniques for breast reconstruction for women who have been affected by breast cancer.

Cell enriched breast reconstruction

We use this  reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy, partial mastectomy or lumpectomy following a diagnosis of breast cancer. Cell enriched breast reconstruction rebuilds the breast using a patient’s own fat tissue and naturally occurring regenerative cells. Liposuction is used to remove fat from a patient’s stomach or thigh. The fat is then divided into two portions, one of which is processed to extract the regenerative cells within the tissue. The cells are then combined with the remaining fat tissue to be re-injected back into the patient’s breast.  This technique can be completed as a day case and patients are seeing amazing results.

The cell enriched breast reconstruction feels much more natural than a solid implant – I am extremely happy with the results I’m very grateful to the whole team for the care I’ve received.

Useful links

Breast Cancer Care