Breast Imaging - Original Article

Effectiveness of the diagnostic pathway of BLES: could it be safely used as a therapeutic method in selected benign lesions?


  • Tuğba İlkem Kurtoğlu Özçağlayan
  • Sibel Özkan Gürdal
  • Meltem Öznur
  • Ömer Özçağlayan
  • Mücahit Doğru
  • Birol Topçu

Received Date: 21.09.2018 Accepted Date: 18.02.2019 Diagn Interv Radiol 2019;25(6):428-434


In this study, we aimed to investigate the breast lesion excision system (BLES) as a tool and a practical alternative technique to surgical biopsy and other percutaneous biopsy methods for suspicious lesions. We also wanted to share our initial experience with BLES and compare it with standard percutaneous biopsy methods.


From July 2015 to December 2016, a total of 50 patients who had high-risk lesions which were diagnosed with core needle biopsy (CNB) or had lesions with radiology pathology discordance, or had high-risk factors, high-grade anxiety, or suspicious follow-up lesions were enrolled in the study. These lesions were classified as Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) 3 or 4, which are under 2 cm. Pathologic diagnoses before and after BLES were evaluated comparatively. The diagnostic and therapeutic success and the complications of CNB and BLES were analyzed.


After BLES, two cases were diagnosed as atypical lobular hyperplasia and atypical ductal hyperplasia. Since the surgical margin was negative, re-excision was not required. Two cases were diagnosed as malignant, and no residual tissue was detected in the operation region. Total excision rates were reported as 56%. Minor hematoma was observed in only 1 out of 50 cases (2%), and spontaneous remission was observed. Two patients (4%) complained of pain during the procedure. Radiofrequency-related thermal damage to the specimen showed: Grade 0 (<0.5 mm) damage in 88%, Grade 1 (0.5–1.5 mm) in 10%, Grade 2 (>1.5 mm or thermal damage in diffuse areas) in 2%, and Grade 3 (diffuse thermal damage or inability to diagnose) in 0%. We found a significant positive correlation between classification of thermal damage and lesion fat cell content (r = 0.345, P = 0.015).


BLES is a safe technique that can be effectively used with low complication rates in the excision of benign and high-risk breast lesions in selected cases. It may also provide high diagnostic success and even serve as a therapeutic method in high-risk lesions, such as radial scar, papilloma, and atypical lobular hyperplasia with high complete excision rates without fragmentation of lesions.