Breast conservation surgery, also known as lumpectomy, partial mastetomy, quadrantectomy or segmental mastectomy, may be an option for patients of breast cancer. The result of the surgery is that a part of the breast containing the cancer is removed. The amount of the breast tissue removed depends on the size and location of the tumor and other factors. Make sure you have a significant amount of detailed information about the surgery, for instance, what the scar will look like after the surgery, how much of breast you may lose considering nearby healthy tissue may be removed as well.

Who can get breast-conserving surgery

The main advantage of breast-conserving surgery is that a woman can keep most of her breast. However, patients need to be able to undergo radiation therapy.

This can be your option if you:

– Have a single breast cancer tumor less than 5 cm in diameter

– Have a single breast cancer tumor or multiple tumors that are close enough to be removed together without changing the look of the breast too much.

– Have enough tissue so that the removed nearby tissue would not leave behind a misshapen breast.

– Do not have inflammatory breast cancer.

– Are non-pregnant

– Are willing to have and follow-up radiation therapy.

Some women might be disturbed at the thought that having a less extensive surgery can increase their risk of cancer coming back. Yet, mastectomy, in most cases, does not provide you with any better chance of long-term survival or a better outcome of treatment. Studies following thousands of women for more than 20 years show that when breast conservation surgery is done, having mastectomy instead does not give any better chance of survival.

Procedure of the surgery

This kind of surgery usually lasts one to two hours. Small metallic clips may be placed inside your breast to help locate the exact area that must be removed. The surgeon also often checks your lymph nodes. A radioactive tracer or blue dye is injected into the area around the tumor. It travels the same path that the cancer cells would take. This helps surgeons spot any lymph nodes that need to be taken out for testing.

During your recovering, remember to call your doctor immediately if you notice any symptoms such as swelling in your arm or hand, fluid under the skin, redness, or any symptoms of infection.

You will typically get radiation therapy after the breast conservation surgery.


What to expect

Before the surgery,  you will be informed these necessaries

  • – Specific instructions to follow in the days before the surgery
  • – An overview of the procedure
  • – Information about the recovery and follow-up care

Side effects of breast conserving surgery

These are some possible side effects of breast conserving surgery:

– Pain or tenderness

– Temporary swelling

– Hard scar tissue that forms in the surgical site

– Change in the shape of the breast

– Nerve pain in  chest wall, armpit, and arm that doesn’t go away over time (called post-mastectomy pain syndrome)

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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