Breast problems are the most common health concerns among women and can affect at any stage of life. The breast may undergo physiological (normal) or pathological (abnormal) changes with advancing age.
Lumpectomy, also called as wide excision is a surgical procedure to remove a malignant tumor or a lump along with some of the surrounding normal tissue from a woman’s breast.
Lumpectomy is a type of breast conservation or preservation surgery.
- Early stage breast cancer
- Non-cancerous breast abnormalities
Before the procedure:
Your doctor will perform physical examination of the breasts. A mammogram is done to detect the soft tissue abnormalities of the breast. Based on the findings of mammogram and biopsy, you will be advised to undergo lumpectomy. During the biopsy, a small marker is placed in your breast. A small incision is made in your breast through which a thin wire is passed down to the marker. During surgery, the wire is used as a guide by the surgeon to locate the area of abnormality that needs to be removed.
Lymph node dissection:
Lymph nodes are bean-shaped structures that drain fluid from the breast, neck, and underarm regions.
The axillary (armpit) lymph nodes are removed during surgery to determine whether cancer has invaded beyond the breast. These nodes are tested for the presence of cancer.
The aim of the procedure is to remove the abnormal tissue and retain the normal appearance of the breast.
Lumpectomy is usually performed as an outpatient procedure either under local or general anaesthesia.
An incision is made over the tumor or the area that contains the wire. The surgeon then removes the tumor along with a small layer of surrounding tissue and sends it to lab for investigation. The affected axillary lymph nodes are drained out during the surgery. At the end of the procedure, the incisions are closed with sutures and a soft dressing is placed over the surgical area.
After the procedure:
- Make sure you get enough rest so that you can return to normal activities in a few days.
- Your doctor will prescribe medications and antibiotics to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Keep the incision are clean and dry to avoid infection.
- A follow-up appointment should be scheduled 1-2 weeks after surgery to examine your progress.
Lumpectomy along is usually followed by radiation therapy to stop cancer growth, spread, or recurrence.
Complications of lumpectomy include bleeding, infection, pain, swelling, scar tissue formation, a change in the size and shape of the breast.