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Breast nipple smears

The following procedure is recommended for preparing smears of breast nipple secretions:

  1. Write the patient's full name (first and last), date of birth and sample collection site on the slide.
  2. Gently massage the breast in the direction of the nipple to express secretions.
  3. Touch a glass slide to the secreted drop(s). If discharge is scant, apply fixative immediately. Otherwise, smear the fluid using a second slide and apply the fixative immediately to both slides.
  4. Repeat these steps as long as fluid continues to appear (up to 10 slides).
For further information and consultation regarding aspiration from special sites and use of "non-aspirate" techniques of fine needle sampling procedures, please call one of our cytopathologists at (419) 255-4601 or (800) 281-8804.