Background and Objective: The literature on fine-needle aspiration (FNA) cytology for papillary lesions presents a very mixed picture. Many authors advocate mandatory excision of these lesions. This recommendation is largely based on the ‘atypical’ nature of the FNA report. The aim of this work is to see if breast papillomas can be treated conservatively. Study Design: We report a retrospective study of outcomes for patients with a provisional diagnosis of a ‘papillary breast lesion’ based on assessment by palpation (no clinically suspicious features), sonography (benign or probably benign according to the Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System ‘BI-RADS®’), and FNA (benign cytological category with a papillary architecture) findings from one integrated breast service. Results: Thirty-six cases were identified over a period of 6 years. Thirty-four of the patients had surgical excision. All of the 34 surgical cases were confirmed to be benign in nature on histopathology (intraduct papilloma). The remaining 2 cases were stable on follow-up. Conclusion: We believe that a policy of mandatory excision of papillary lesions of the breast is unnecessarily cautious.

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