Surgical specialists frequently are asked by their medical and surgical colleagues to see unusual problems. The fresh view, the need to review that which has gone before, the same questions asked differently, and the application of different experiences to the present situation can occasionally offer surprisingly beneficial results. The following cases are offered as examples.
A few years ago a posthysterectomy patient in her 40s suddenly experienced the development of multiple large breast cysts. Although she had taken a familiar conjugated estrogen product cyclically for years, a less costly generic product recently had been substituted. The breast masses quickly resolved with discontinuance of the medication and did not recur with the restarting of the original hormone preparation. Although the medication information came easily by specific questioning, it was not volunteered.
Recently, a 14-year-old female asthmatic was seen in consultation because of recurrent breast abscesses during a three-month period. Even though