Needle in the breast

Case contributed by Dr Giorgio M Baratelli


Patient presented with palpable and painful subcutaneous mass in the submammary fold of the lower medial quadrant of the left breast.

Patient Data

Age: 70
Gender: Female

Mammography  showed a sewing needle in the breast.

Case Discussion

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.

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Case information

rID: 16871
Published: 26th Feb 2012
Last edited: 15th Jan 2016
System: Breast
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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