Surgical misadventure: A case for thoughtful patient preoperative assessment

  • MOA Samaila Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria


Breast abscess is a common problem in women particularly in lactating women in Tropical Africa. Occasionally a chronic breast abscess may mimic carcinoma of the breast. This is a case presentation of a 45-year old woman who presented with a 1year history of progressively increasing right breast swelling associated with enlarged axillary lymph nodes. It was diagnosed breast cancer and patient had a radical mastectomy in a peripheral hospital. Histology of the specimen however revealed a chronic breast abscess with granulation tissue formation,extensive fibrosis of the surrounding breast tissue and nodal hyperplasia. Patient recovered uneventfully and was discharged home. An assessment of the psychological impact of losing a breast in this patient was not possible as patient was lost to follow up. Optimal clinical examination by the surgeon and preoperative cytological diagnosis would ensure that the patient is spared unnecessary mutilating surgery.

Nigerian Journal of Surgical Research Vol. 7(1&2) 2005: 214-215

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eISSN: 1595-1103