Diagnostic Services

An accurate and immediate diagnosis and staging of breast disease is essential for optimal treatment planning and peace of mind. At the Appel-Venet Comprehensive Breast Service, our breast cancer team is equipped with the latest understanding and knowledge about breast cancer, and we are dedicated to using the least invasive tests possible to get a diagnosis at the earliest possible stage.

Our Breast Service provides the most advanced breast imaging services, and our patients have the advantage of being able to undergo the diagnostic process in one location, which saves time and lessens anxiety. In fact, patients can often get their diagnostic tests all in one day, and then immediately discuss treatment options with a multidisciplinary team of experts.

Some of the diagnostic procedures we offer include:

Clinical Breast Examination

A clinical breast examination by one of our breast cancer surgeons is most often the first step to making a reliable diagnosis of any unusual condition. Depending on the results of the exam, the surgeon may recommend further testing or may conclude that your condition constitutes one of several natural changes and recommend follow-up with continual Breast Self Exams and regular clinical breast exams.

Fine Needle Aspiration

If the breast mass is palpable, our onsite cytopathologist will participate directly in the fine needle aspiration and will be able to feel the lump and the texture of the tissue when the needle goes into the lump. This helps in the diagnosis and also allows the pathologist to look at the slide immediately and determine if there's enough tissue to make a diagnosis, thereby eliminating the anxiety of waiting for a result.

The advantage of fine needle aspirations is that the pathologist is looking at individual cells, so less tissue is taken out of the breast. However, this is a specialized procedure, and requires the expertise of a pathologist with special training.


A mammogram, an x-ray picture of the breast, tells surgeons a great deal about breast conditions. The Breast Service utilizes the latest state-of-the-art technology for mammograms, and our expert radiologists work closely with surgeons to get the most accurate diagnosis.

Breast Surgery Division
Mount Sinai Beth Israel

Susan Boolbol MD, FACS
Division of Breast Surgery

Sarah Cate MD
Attending Surgeon

Alyssa Gillego MD
Attending Surgeon

Christopher Mills MD
Attending Surgeon