A Lumpectomy is a breast surgery that removes cancerous or abnormal tissues.
The surgeon removes cancerous or other abnormal tissues and a tiny portion of healthy tissues during a lumpectomy treatment. This assures the removal of all aberrant tissues.
Unlike a mastectomy, which involves removing the entire breast, a lumpectomy involves removing cancer cells while leaving a narrow margin of healthy breast tissues. It may assist the patient in retaining their breast's natural appearance and shape following cancer treatment. Radiation or other cancer treatments may be required after a lumpectomy.
Alternate Name of Lumpectomy Surgery
How is lumpectomy Surgery performed?
A Lumpectomy is performed as an outpatient procedure. It takes around an hour to complete the operation. Since breast cancer is not visible to the surgeon (it is the same color as breast tissue), it is tagged before surgery to assist the surgeon. A tiny chip or wire, inserted by the radiologist into the breast cancer shortly before the surgery, can be used to pinpoint the malignancy in the breast.
The surgeon skillfully removes the tumor along with a margin of healthy breast tissue during a lumpectomy. To ensure that no cancer cells remain, surgeons remove a narrow margin of healthy breast tissue surrounding the tumor.
Physicians take extreme care to remove only the tissues needed to treat cancer, retaining the natural breast as much as possible. Unfortunately, the extent of cancer cannot be viewed during surgery and can only be verified through a pathology test post-surgery which may take 7-10 days.
Preparation for Lumpectomy Surgery
- Diet: No solid food intake may be allowed 24 hours before the surgery. Liquid may be allowed, important medication will be allowed, and the patient should remain hydrated.
- Medication: To reduce the risk of bleeding, the patient should avoid taking aspirin or other blood-thinning medications. The patient should not eat or drink anything for a few hours before surgery, especially if general anaesthesia is used.
- Blood test: Perform basic blood tests, breathing tests, X-Rays, and ECG to ensure sound heart health. The doctor may advise an ultrasound or a mammogram test to locate the tumor before surgery.
A surgeon may examine lymph nodes to see if cancer has spread beyond the breast. The patient’s nipple may be injected with blue dye or a small amount of radioactive material. The surgeon uses this information to determine which lymph nodes need to be removed. A surgeon will make a small incision in the armpit to remove some lymph nodes for pathological examination. Further tests are performed to determine whether cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.
Risks For Lumpectomy Surgery
- Surgery risks: Infection, bruising, and swelling (called lymphedema) in the arm or hand nearest to the damaged breast are all possible side effects after the lumpectomy surgery.
- Procedural risks: Lumpectomy is not advised in case of genetic mutation that raises the chances of getting breast cancer again, or if the breast cancer is inflammatory or if the patient has lupus or other medical condition.
Recovery From Lumpectomy Surgery
The patient’s health will be monitored in a recovery room after the surgery until the patient receives clearance to go home. Most patients can relieve their discomfort with prescribed medication from the doctor and ice. The care provider will explain how to care for the incision site and how frequently to change the dressing. Mild exercises can help to reduce shoulder stiffness.
Based on progressive monitoring from the doctor, the patient can gradually resume normal activities like wearing a bra, and so on. Good rest and care are imperative for recovery from Lumpectomy. Even though it is a regular procedure, it is advised to rest properly and give the body enough time to recover.