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  • What is a lumpectomy?

    Removing breast tumour through lumpectomy

    A lumpectomy is one of the treatment options for breast cancer. It is a surgical procedure that removes a tumour in your breast that can either be malignant or benign. Also known as partial mastectomy or breast-conserving surgery, lumpectomy removes only the part of your breast where the tumour is located.

    After a lumpectomy, the doctor may recommend radiation therapy to target the remaining cancer cells in the chest and lymph nodes. Radiation therapy aims to reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence after lumpectomy.

  • Your doctor may suggest a breast lumpectomy to treat cancer by preventing the spread of malignant cells to other parts of your body while conserving the appearance of your breast.

    Despite the benefits of a lumpectomy surgery in treating breast cancer, your doctor may only consider the procedure if you don’t have the following conditions:

    • History of previous radiation therapy in the region of treatment
    • Have more than one tumour in one area of your breast
    • Scleroderma (hardening of the skin)
    • Systemic lupus erythematosus (chronic disease that causes inflammation in connective tissues)
    • Pregnancy
  • Preparing for a lumpectomy

    You are expected to take necessary steps before the lumpectomy procedure. Just like other typical surgeries, your doctor will tell you what to expect before, during, and after the procedure, so it is vital to take note of it.

    • Your doctor may ask about your medical history and the medications you are taking.
    • Not drinking or eating 8 – 12 hours before the breast lumpectomy surgery should be strictly followed.

    During a lumpectomy

    Under general anaesthesia, your surgeon makes an incision in your breast, removes the tumour together with a rim of healthy tissue, and sends it to the laboratory for analysis. The surgeon then closes the incision with stitches, trying to keep the shape and appearance of your breast.

    Additionally, a separate incision may be made in your underarm to determine if cancer has already spread beyond the breast. Since cancer can spread to other parts of the body, it is important to check if the lymph nodes under your arm, near your collarbone and inside your breast have been affected.

    After a lumpectomy

    The recovery process of breast cancer lumpectomy for most women may take 2 – 3 days after the surgery. You can resume your normal activities as soon as the soreness or pain in the surgical site subsides (7 – 10 days).

    As the incision heals, the intensity of the pain will gradually decrease. Take mild pain relievers with acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve post-surgery aches and discomfort.

    Additionally, any signs of infection such as fever, excessive swelling, and severe pain should be communicated to your surgeon.

    The results of the lumpectomy may take 1 – 2 weeks. Your doctor will explain the reports and outcomes of your surgery and will decide if you need more treatment. The recurrence of breast cancer after a lumpectomy for most women is low, especially if it is followed by radiation therapy.

    Risks/complications of a lumpectomy

    All types of surgery, regardless of their safety benefits, carry some risks. As part of monitoring your health condition, it is important to be aware of the following side effects and possible risks of a lumpectomy:

    • Breast pain or tenderness
    • Swelling of the breast
    • Changes in the size or shape of the breast
    • Hard scar tissue in the surgical site
    • Dimple that forms in the surgical site
    • Persistent burning or shooting pain in the chest wall, armpit, and/or arm
    • Lymphoedema – a chronic condition wherein the lymphatic system fails to properly function. This leads to swelling of the breast, hands or other body parts.

    To lessen the risk of developing complications, it is important to follow the aftercare guidelines given by your doctor. If you experience any side effects or complications, let your doctor know about it immediately. Early detection and intervention can help control the complications and prevent infection.

  • Women’s health is one of Parkway East Hospital’s areas of expertise. We provide comprehensive services for the diagnosis and management of women’s health conditions like breast cancer. One of the treatments for early stage cancers is lumpectomy, which is also known as partial mastectomy.

    Lumpectomy, a breast conserving surgery, is one of the medical procedures that you can avail at Parkway East Hospital. Our team of doctors and medical staff with years of experience in doing this breast cancer surgery will ensure your safety and well-being. To complement their expertise, the medical team is equipped with technology and equipment for this breast cancer treatment.

    Our medical team will also assist you at each step of the process towards recovery and management of your condition.

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