Breast lump removal is surgery to remove a lump in the breast and some surrounding tissue from the breast.
Breast lump removal is usually done in an outpatient clinic. You will be given general anesthesia (asleep, but pain free) or local anesthesia (awake, but sedated and pain free). The procedure takes about 1 to 2 hours.
The surgeon makes a small incision (cut) on your breast. The surgeon then removes some of the lump and breast tissue around it.
Your doctor will send the lump to a laboratory for testing.
If you have a lump with breast cancer in it, your surgeon will also remove lymph nodes in your axilla (armpit). This will be done through another surgical cut underneath your arm. The lymph nodes will also be tested for cancer. This is called staging. Staging helps your doctor plan your treatment.
Lumpectomy is performed to either diagnose or treat an abnormal spot in the breast. Before a lumpectomy, your doctor will have done a needle biopsy and imaging tests (such as mammography) to see if you have breast cancer.
If a needle biopsy showed that you have breast cancer, your doctor will have you take more tests to see if the cancer has spread.
Other reasons to perform a lumpectomy are:
Risks for any surgery are:
Risks for this procedure are:
Always tell your doctor or nurse:
During the days before the surgery:
On the day of the surgery:
The recovery period is very short for a simple lumpectomy. You should have little pain. If you do feel pain, you can take pain medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol). Most women can resume their usual activities in a week or so. The skin should heal in about a month.
You will need to take care of the incision area. Change dressings as your doctor or nurse tells you to. Watch for signs of infection when you get home (such as redness and swelling).
You may need to empty a fluid drain a few times a day for 1 to 2 weeks. Your doctor will remove the drain later.
Avoid heavy lifting or jogging for 1 to 2 weeks. Your doctor will show you special exercises to prevent arm stiffness and talk to you about clothing and bra options, if necessary.
You may notice slight scarring.
If cancer is found, you will need to schedule follow-up treatment with your doctor.
The outcome of a lumpectomy depends on the type of lump your doctor finds, and whether or not it is cancerous.
A lumpectomy for breast cancer is often followed by radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or hormone therapy. This usually results in the same long-term survival as a mastectomy, depending on the type and how much breast cancer you have.
Women usually do not need breast reconstruction after lumpectomy.
Lumpectomy; Wide local excision; Excisional biopsy; Limited breast surgery; Segmental mastectomy: Breast conservation therapy or surgery; Tylectomy; Breast sparing surgery; Partial mastectomy; Segmental breast excision