A small cut will be made in the breast. The tumor will be cut out, along with some of the surrounding tissue. Another incision near the armpit may be made so that lymph nodes can be removed. The nipple and areola will not be removed. Plastic tubes for drainage may be inserted. The incisions will be closed with stitches.
Removed tissue will be examined. The findings may determine if any further surgery is needed.
How Long Will It Take?
About 1-3 hours
Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia prevents pain during the procedure. There is usually relatively little pain after a lumpectomy. There may be temporary unpleasant sensations, including numbness and a pinching or pulling feeling in the underarm area. Patients who have lymph node biopsies generally have more discomfort. If needed, you may be prescribed pain medicine.
Keep the surgical area clean and dry.
You may have one or more tubes to drain blood and fluids while you heal. Empty the drains, measure the fluid, and report any problems.
If tubes were placed, they will be removed in the doctor's office 1-2 days later.
Avoid vigorous activity for about four weeks, or as
directed by your doctor.
Try not to lift anything heavier than five pounds for about a week or longer if directed by your doctor.
Wear a well-fitting, very supportive bra 24 hours a day for the first week.
If you do develop complications from lymph node surgery, you will need to take some special precautions:
Do not have blood pressure taken, blood drawn, or shots given in that arm.
Wear gloves to do dishes, household scrubbing, and yard work.
Do not wear anything tight on that arm, including elastic in sleeves.
Do not carry heavy packages, purses, suitcases, grocery bags, etc. with that arm.
Keep the skin of that arm well-moisturized with a lanolin-containing product.
Use an electric shaver if you wish to shave your armpits.
If you had lymph nodes in your armpit removed during breast cancer surgery, participating in a physical therapy program may help to prevent lymphedema.
The breast may change in size or shape after lumpectomy. There may be local skin discoloration from dye used to localize lymph nodes for biopsy. The dye may also discolor your urine for a short time after surgery. You will be asked to see your doctor for a follow-up appointment within 7-14 days after the surgery.
The surgery is usually followed by an appropriate course of
and, in some cases,
Call Your Doctor
After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
Signs of infection, including fever and chills
Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the incision site
If you have drains, report any problems that your doctor has discussed with you
Oozing or discharge from nipples on either breast
A lump, redness, or swelling in either breast
If lymph nodes were removed: redness, warmth, swelling, stiffness, or hardness in the arm or hand
Nausea and/or vomiting that you cannot control with the medicines you were given after surgery or that persist for more than two days after discharge from the hospital
Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you have been given
1/22/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance
DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance
: Torres Lacomba M, Yuste Sánchez MJ, Zapico Goñi A, et al. Effectiveness of early physiotherapy to prevent lymphoedema after surgery for breast cancer: randomised, single blinded, clinical trial.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a