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The NHSBSP does not recommend early recall following assessment of screen-detected
abnormalities. Symptomatic patients in our breast clinic may be invited to return
for repeat imaging. A survey of repeat imaging in our symptomatic breast clinic was
undertaken to understand whether we can justify reducing the number of patients recalled
and to gauge associated anxiety levels.
We identified 71 consecutive patients attending an imaging appointment from 1 February
2013 who had a repeat imaging recommendation. Patients were asked to complete a questionnaire.
We recorded reason for recall, imaging interval, imaging outcome, and feedback from
One patient did not attend. Mean interval between initial and repeat imaging: 4−16
weeks. Fifty-five episodes classified R1/R2 at initial imaging; 11 R3; four R4. Outcomes:
68 % were discharged; 11 % were invited for a third imaging appointment and all were
then discharged; 13 % had a benign biopsy; 7 % returned to the surgical clinic for
management of their benign symptom. Twenty-three questionnaires were completed − one
patient was 'very anxious' about repeat imaging, seven patients were 'mildly anxious',
10 were 'relieved', six were 'not bothered'.
Repeat imaging did not yield any diagnoses of malignancy. All patients were eventually
discharged with a benign outcome. We can justify reducing follow-up imaging of our
symptomatic patients in line with guidelines for screening assessments. Radiologist
time may be better directed towards meeting the symptomatic breast 2-week wait standard.
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British Society of Breast Radiology Annual Scientific Meeting