Steve Biko Academic Hospital Breast Unit

We learn about Steve Biko Academic Hospital Breast Unit.


The Steve Biko Academic Hospital (SBAH) Breast Unit/University of Pretoria was established in 2014; this fell in line with national and international thrust towards anatomic regionalisation of healthcare. 

Prior to 2014, all the surgical firms   in the Surgery Department managed breast malignancy and chronic benign breast conditions. The then new HOD, Prof Mokoena, established subspeciality  units managed by speciality surgeons and these include: the Upper GIT (Prof Mokoena), Hepato-Pancreas Biliary (Dr Brand and Dr Maluleke), Colorectal (Dr Oyomno and Prof Montwedi) and Breast/Endocrine (Prof Ntlhe, Dr Jekel and Dr Docrat).

The SBAH Breast Unit delivers a world-class multi-disciplinary service to patients in our referral area of the SBAH/University of Pretoria, including far-flung satellites e.g. Witbank, Nelspruit and other regions. 


Monday clinic: Multi-disciplinary team planning meeting, where patient management is individualised based on the patient, tumour characteristics and molecular profile. Constant communication with team members  between clinic days go far with regard to streamlining and improving patient care.

The unit prides itself in providing treatment within two to three weeks in cases where surgery is needed. We currently do not have a surgery backlog or waiting list. For patients who receive neo-adjuvant therapy (treatment before surgery), surgery is performed four weeks later, as per protocol.

Wednesday clinic: The clinic starts at 08:00 and ends at 16:00. We see 200 patients per month with breast complaints and about 30 have breast cancer. These patients receive their surgical procedures as per indication within two to three weeks after having first been seen. 

We have two full-day operation lists per week. Many of our indigent patients present with advanced disease, including some, interestingly, with a strong family history of the disease.

Friday clinic: Caters for fast-tracked patients, where the referring doctor communicates directly with Prof Ntlhe in a one-minute or less telephonic conversation. Both the Prof and the referring doctor determine that the patient clinically has breast cancer. The patient may then be referred for mammography, ultrasound and/or biopsy

This mechanism is highly appreciated by both patients and doctors. This type of communication is standard when referring patients who sustain multiple trauma, according to principles espoused by the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) course for physicians in trauma care. This system would be highly beneficial if adopted for breast cancer.

Teaching and research

Both undergraduate and postgraduate students are tutored from the rotation first day in the unit. The students go through systematic breast history, examination and investigations aimed at treatment. 

Research is afforded to registrars, and medical scientists particularly with regard to immunology in breast cancer, or familial breast cancer.

Recent publication

Dr B Phakathi et al: The effect of HIV Infection on the surgical, chemo-and radiotherapy management of breast cancer. A prospective cohort study. (International Journal of Surgery. Volume 34, Oct 2016, 109 – 115.)

SBAH Breast Unit staff members

Surgeons: Prof LM Ntlhe, Dr H Jekel and Dr F Docrat.

Plastic Surgeons: Dr S Selahle and Dr M Rebeiro.

Pathologist: Prof M Bida.

Radio-oncologist: Prof R Lakier.

Medical oncologist: Prof L Dreosti, Dr D Minyuku.

Radiologist: Prof Z Lockhat, Prof F Suleman, Dr N Makhanya, Dr N Vikakazi and Dr Hanekom.

Nuclear medicine: Prof M Sathekge and Prof M Vorster

Specialist breast care nurses: Sr. Atong, Sr. Mamabolo, Sr.Ntandane and Sr. Olivier.

Social worker: Thulani Maxeke

Administration staff :Audrey Nkutshweu and Hyne Steenkamp.

Other departments are invited as necessary e.g. MRI Unit/orthopaedics etc. and are always eager to help. 


Prof LM Ntlhe MBChB (Natal) FCS (SA) is the head of Steve Biko Academic Hospital Breast Unit. He has an interest in breast and endocrine surgery and was involved in the establishment of the Breast and Endocrine Unit at Steve Biko Academic Hospital/University of Pretoria Faculty of Health Sciences.      

38 Replies to “Steve Biko Academic Hospital Breast Unit”

  1. Good day,
    Do I need to make an appointment for the Wednesday clinic? I need to do a mammogram.

  2. My niece was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer by you in Nov 2018. She is only receiving surgery today, 12 Feb 2019. Your 2 to 3 week claim of treatment is untrue. In addition, on 11 Feb she had to wait for 11 hours before she was allocated a bed, this after it had been booked. Atrocious treatment! We as a her family are shocked. We just hope that the surgery will be done at a better level of professionalism which has been sorely lacking up to now.

    1. Hi Riaane, thank you for your comment. Please note this is the website of Buddies For Life and not Steve Biko breast clinic. This is an article that was written by one of their staff written for us to publish. So, I suggest you rather send your concern to them either in person or through their complaint system. Sorry to hear this is the treatment you received. I hope your niece’s surgery went well.

  3. Hi. I’m 33 years old and I’m suffering from Gynecomastia which is known as Male boobs. They increasing and becoming heavy which they’re giving me low self-esteem. I would like to know whether you do Gynecomastia surgery and if you do how can I make an appointment.

    1. Dear Andile, please contact the clinic on 012 354 1645 to make an appointment to see a Doctor.

  4. Good day.

    i would like to know what procedure to i need follow to see the Dr for breast reduction. i have very big breast that are now contributing to my back pain.

    1. Hi Yolanda, you would need to contact the breast clinic and ask them. We don’t have that information as we are the publishers of Buddies For Life.

  5. Good day
    M 27 years old girl wearing 36G of a bra and that gave me low-self esteem and also have back pain.i feel like am not beautiful any more.which day n season can I come for breast reduction?

    1. Hi im Lerato i would like to do a breast reduction…i have serious back pain,cant stand for long and i cant really do lot of things as my breast is too heavy

  6. Good day Yolanda.

    I would like to bring my daughter for Dr for breast reduction, she has a big breasy at her age of 17 years, and she says that are now contributing to her back pain.

    Thank you have a blessed day and a week ahead.

  7. Hi I have a big breast 48EE that now causing shoulder and back pain what procedure to follow for breast reduction

  8. Hi,i would like to thank all the staff in breast clinic, my mom Pauline Letlhage was transferred there by George Mokhari for Radiology in 2019,within 6 month she was fully recovered.
    Keep on the good work.

  9. I’m 40yrs old..i have big breast started to grow when I was 10..I started wearing a bra when I was 11..I did make attempts to do the procedure when I was s 16.. but couldn’t go on with the procedure..many time .i need breast reduction as my back hurts Everytime..i went to clinic…hospitas for my back many times throughout my life …Iwear 44DD that I believe is not my size..I think is bigger than that.i need your help… please..

  10. Hi how much is liposuction my tummy is stubborn I look like I’m six months pregnant please help

  11. Good day i would like to do a breast reduction,i have backpain,shoulder pain,cant stand for long and its hard for me to do a lot of things becaise my breast are very heavy




  13. hi .

    I had a boil in my left breast and since 2016 it like my breast are only skin. I would like t get breast implants please. how much will it cost ?

  14. Good day
    I would like to enquire about breast reduction procedure. What are the processes that I need to follow to reserve an appointment with the surgeon?
    Your assistance will be highly appreciated . Thank you

  15. Good Day

    may i have the contact detail of the unit need to go see them urgently please

    kind regards


  16. Good morning
    I have been a patient at Steve Biko from 2016.I always got assistance but ever since I had to mention my breast issues my appointments are moved,given another date and I am currently struggling with Arthritis,shoulder and back pain.When I call I’m given another appointment then I will be called again to postpone the date
    Please assist

    1. Hi Zanele, I am so sorry to hear aboout the issues you are having. Unfortunately, we can’t assist as we are not part of Steve Biko. We are a magazine that focusing on breast cancer and featured Steve Biko breast clinic in the one issue. Please contact the clinic directly to sort out these issues.

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