Needle in the breast
Patient presented with palpable and painful subcutaneous mass in the submammary fold of the lower medial quadrant of the left breast.
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Mammography showed a sewing needle in the breast.
When asked, the patient answered that she was a tailor and she used to pin the needles on clothes. She did not remember when the needle penetrated the skin of the breast - it may have happened 10 years ago.
The needle was removed through a small incision under local anesthesia. Ampicilin (1 gr bid) was given for three days. The patient had an injection of tetanus immune globulin and tetanus prophylaxis was started.
She recovered uneventful.
Foreign bodies in the breast are mostly seen after surgical procedures or silicone or paraffin injections.
They may remain silent for a long time until they cause inflammation, pain or mastitis.
Reaction to a foreign body may be confused with breast malignancy.
The case reported is rare and interesting in that its cause was not previous surgery, but an accidentally inserted needle, remaining there over many years without any symptoms.