Lumpectomy Procedure in Midland Park, NJ
What is Lumpectomy?
Otherwise known as a breast sparing or breast conserving mastectomy, a lumpectomy is a wide local excision that your doctors may use to remove a tumor or abnormal tissue from the breast.
The main goal of a lumpectomy is to remove a cancerous growth while leaving a majority of the healthy breast tissues intact. It may be an option for situations where the cancer is still in an early stage and has not yet grown to other areas of the body.
Lumpectomy - The Process
Before a lumpectomy takes place, you will meet with a surgeon to discuss any questions you may have about the procedure. Here are just a few points to keep in mind about the lumpectomy procedure:
- A lumpectomy is usually an outpatient surgery, meaning that you will be able to go home the day of the procedure.
- Your doctor may use a general or local anesthesia depending on the size of the tumor being removed.
- After locating the tumor by hand, with a mammogram/ultrasound, or a marker inserted during your biopsy, the surgeon will remove the growth as well as the surrounding tissue. This area is called the clear margin area, and it is the point on the breast just past the tumor where cancer cells are no longer present.
- Your surgeon will make a curved incision which allows for faster healing while using an electrically heated scalpel to minimize bleeding.
- Some lymph nodes from beneath the armpit may be removed for testing to ensure that the cancer hasn't spread to other parts of the body. This may require the injection of a dye to make the lymph nodes easier to locate.
- A temporary tube may be inserted to assist with fluid draining as the site heals. The site will then be stitched up.
- Following your lumpectomy, you'll be moved to a recovery room for monitoring before being sent home with a list of care instructions and a prescription for antibiotics and pain medication.
A lumpectomy may not be an option if you have/had:
- Multiple tumors
- Cancer that has already spread
- A previous radiation treatment
- A large tumor and small breast because your doctor may not be able to preserve enough of the breast tissue
- An autoimmune disease such as scleroderma or lupus. A lumpectomy is usually accompanied by radiation treatment which can aggravate these existing conditions.
Lumpectomy - At Home Care
The most important thing you can do at home is rest. It is normal to feel pain, numbness, or a pinching sensation under your arm. This can be treated with an over the counter pain medication such as acetaminophen or NSAIDs.
Showers should be avoided immediately after the surgery, and substituted by gentle sponge baths. It is also recommended that you wear a wire-free bra with good support such as a sports bra.
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