A lumpectomy, also called partial mastectomy, is surgery to remove a breast tumor and a small amount of normal tissue around it. Often referred to as breast-sparing or breast-conserving surgery, lumpectomy is a common treatment for breast cancer. At Dignity Health Cancer Institute of Greater Sacramento, it is performed by an expert general surgeon or breast surgeon who specializes in treating breast disease.
Your doctor may recommend lumpectomy as a treatment option for a benign (noncancerous) breast tumor called a fibroadenoma or for small breast cancer tumors in the early stages of development.
Risks for Lumpectomy
All surgery comes with risk. Risks of lumpectomy include bleeding, blood clots, infections, and reactions to anesthesia.
Risks of a lumpectomy include:
- Numbness in the breast that may or may not go away
- Differences in the size or shape of one breast compared to the other due to tissue removal
- Damage to nearby lymph nodes
Lumpectomy Recovery & What to Expect
It’s important to the Dignity Health team that you feel comfortable and understand your upcoming procedure. In the days or weeks before your surgery, your doctor and nurse navigator will go over instructions about what you’ll need to do before surgery and how you can prepare, including any restrictions you need to follow before a lumpectomy.
After a lumpectomy, you’ll be able to return home the same day of your surgery.
The following are some good things to keep in mind:
- You’ll want to get plenty of rest.
- You might have a small tube at the site of your surgery to drain fluids. After a week or so your doctor will remove the tube. While the tube is in place, you’ll need to empty the drain several times each day. Your post-surgery care team will show you how to do this before you go home.
- You will have some pain and discomfort after your surgery. If your pain gets worse, call your doctor as it may be a sign of a complication such as an infection.
- It will be very helpful to have a good sports bra or support bra to wear during the day and at night while you recover. This will help limit movement and help to keep swelling down.
You’ll receive a set of arm exercises to be performed the day following your surgery. Generally, lumpectomy recovery will take about four weeks. You’ll most likely have radiation therapy shortly after your procedure for about six weeks to reduce the chances of cancer returning.
Oncologists at St. Joseph's Cancer Institute offer state-of-the-art treatments for breast cancer, including lumpectomy, in Stockton, CA and the surrounding areas.