Breast clinic FAQs

We’ve compiled a list of questions that our team frequently receives. If you have a question that isn’t answered below, please give us a call on 020 3370 1041 and our friendly team will help.

Our Breast Clinic

Our team will discuss your symptoms with you and look through any previous test results in order to understand what the problem might be. Our radiologists may carry out multiple investigative tests and procedures to ensure they have covered all possible health risks. This multi-pronged approach saves valuable time and can help speed up diagnosis.

Once the recommended scans and samples have been taken, our expert breast clinic team will let you know if you need any treatment and the various options available to you if so.

Frequently asked questions

When will I get the results of my test?

We aim to give you all your results on the same day as your appointment. However, sometimes we need more time to analyse the tests and you may be asked to come back to the clinic in one week for your results.

Core Biopsy test analysis takes longer, so you’ll generally be asked to come back to clinic in three to seven days for these results.

What tests are carried out during my appointment?

You might have one or more of the following, depending on your specific needs:

A mammogram is a type of X-ray of the breast. The specialist mammography radiographer will ask you to undress to the waist in the mammography room. You will be asked to stand in front of the mammography machine and 2 images of each breast will be taken – one from the front and one from the side. The breast is compressed between 2 plates to flatten it and to get as much detail on the images as possible. Some people find having a mammogram uncomfortable, but the test takes only a few seconds. Our machine is a state of the art Digital Mammography Unit, which means we can reduce both the radiation dose and the examination time for you. It’s also significantly more comfortable as the compression times are kept to an absolute minimum.

Breast Ultrasound Scan
You will be asked to undress to the waist and lay on a couch with your arm above your head. Some jelly will be put onto your breast and the scanning probe will be moved around your breast (this is the same technique that is used to look at babies in the womb during pregnancy).

Needle Core Biopsy
Core biopsy is performed when a sample of tissue is removed by a needle for analysis in the Pathology department. Local anaesthetic is given to the skin site, to numb the area prior to the procedure.

Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology (FNAC)
Not everyone needs this test. For those that do, this involves taking a sample of the cells from the area of the breast that we are investigating, using a fine needle and syringe. The cells are spread onto a microscope slide and sent to the laboratory to be examined. FNAC can be uncomfortable but does not usually need a local anaesthetic. Fine Needle Aspiration is also used to aspirate (drain a cyst).

What will happen during my appointment?

You’ll be seen by specialist breast consultant who will ask you some general questions about your health and your breast problem; this will include taking a family history of any breast problems.

The consultant will examine your breasts and decide which tests you will need based on your individual assessment. You’ll be asked to undress to the waist for this, so it’s best not to wear a dress to the appointment.

How long will I have to wait in the clinic?

We aim to provide a one-stop service in the breast clinic. This can mean that your clinic appointment may take 3-4 hours.

We do our best to see you at your appointment time, but sometimes delays happen due to the tests that we do.

What will happen when I arrive at the clinic?

When you arrive at the breast clinic you should report to the reception desk, where the clinic receptionist will check we have your correct address and GP details. You’ll also be asked to register your account.

The Breast Care Nurse will call you when you’re due to see the doctor, and will stay with you during your consultation.

Can I bring someone with me?

You can bring a relative or friend with you, and if you wish they can stay with you when you’re seen by the doctor.

Why have I been referred to the Breast Clinic?

You may have been referred to the breast clinic because you have a breast lump or breast problem and your General Practitioner (GP) thinks that you should be seen in a specialist clinic.

There are many reasons for breast lumps and breast problems. Please remember that 9 out of 10 women with breast lumps do not have breast cancer.

You’ve been referred to this clinic so that we can investigate your breast problem and decide on treatment if it is necessary. Our team of nurses, specialist consultants and radiographers all work together to try and make sure you have only one visit during which all investigations can be carried out.

Our Breast Diagnostic Packages

Consultation + Mammogram

Price: £590

Consultation + Ultrasound

Price: £670

Consultation + Mammogram & Ultrasound

Price: £1,010

A patient speaking to a receptionist

Patient information

Our Hospital is renowned for providing exemplary levels of care across more than 90 services. From orthopaedics, to urology, our private GP practice and Urgent Care Clinic, our services are led by some of London’s leading Consultants. For more information, and to find a service suitable for your care, find out more about the services that we offer.

Make an enquiry

If you have any questions relating to treatment options or pricing information, get in touch with us by filling out one of our contact boxes or giving us a call on 020 3370 1041 .

Our Appointments Team have a dedicated and caring approach to finding you the earliest appointment possible with the best specialist.

If you are self-paying you don’t need a referral from your GP for a consultation. You can simply refer yourself* and book an appointment.

If you have health insurance (e.g. Bupa, Axa Health, Aviva), you will need to contact your insurer to get authorisation before any treatment, and in most cases you will also require a referral letter from your GP.

If you are not registered with a GP, we have an in-house private GP practice you can use. Alternatively, we can suggest the most appropriate course of action for you to take, given your location and individual circumstances.

*Please note – for investigations such as X-rays and MRIs, a referral will be required. However, we may be able to arrange this for you through our on-site private GP.

    Make an enquiry

    Latest articles

    The latest news, insights and views from St John and Elizabeth Hospital.

    Find out what we’re doing to keep you safe, read expert articles and interviews with our leading specialist Consultants, learn more about common conditions and get your questions answered.

    05th July 2022

    What to expect as you recover from a stroke

    The sooner you begin therapy after a stroke, the more likely you are…

    first signs of mini-stroke

    24th May 2022

    The first signs of a mini-stroke and how to recover

    Having a stroke is a frightening experience, which over 100,000 people go through…

    home remedies for stomach pain

    05th May 2022

    Home remedies for stomach pain and when you should go to the hospital

    We all know what it’s like to have an upset tum or be…

    About hje hospital

    18th March 2022

    About St John & St Elizabeth Hospital

    Over the coming months, in planned phases, we’re opening the last few areas…

    health insurance

    18th March 2022

    Should you get health insurance?

    When it comes to paying for private healthcare, there are two main options…

    staying healthy while travelling

    17th March 2022

    5 tips for staying healthy abroad

    After the past couple of years we’ve had, you might be itching to…

    Private Cyst Removal

    20th January 2022

    What are cysts, and is cyst removal always needed?

    Cysts are a common skin condition, but what causes them, and do you…

    treatment after stroke

    18th January 2022

    Treatment after a stroke: What can you expect?

    A stroke occurs every five minutes in the UK. Post-stroke treatment is critical…

    medical professional looking into microscope

    12th January 2022

    Under the microscope: The many benefits of private healthcare

    Whatever your situation, there might come a point when you consider going private…

    shoulder pain

    11th January 2022

    What causes shoulder pain and what can you do about it?

    The shoulder is made up of various joints and tendons that allow a…

    gallbladder attack

    04th December 2021

    Are you having a gallbladder attack? Find out more about the causes, symptoms and treatment

    A gallbladder attack can happen at a moment’s notice and cause aggressive pain….

    overactive bladder

    02nd December 2021

    Constantly need to pee? How to treat an overactive bladder

    If you regularly get the feeling that you’ve “got to go”, you’re not…