Lumpectomy: Things you should know

Lumpectomy is a surgery that is performed to remove cancer cells or other abnormal tissue from the breast. It is also called as breast-conserving surgery because, unlike a mastectomy, only a portion of the breast is removed. To ensure that all cancer or other abnormal tissue is removed, a small amount of normal tissue around the lump is also taken.

Lumpectomy is also a first preferred option for women with early-stage breast cancer. In cases where cancer is found, lumpectomy usually is followed by radiation therapy to reduce the chances of cancer returning.

Lumpectomy: Things you should know

Risks Involved in Lumpectomy

  • Bleeding, allergic reaction and infection are the common risks involved.
  • Your breast may feel numb after lump removal surgery and this is caused if the nerves are affected.
  • There may be tenderness and temporary swelling after surgery.
  • You may also feel the change in shape of breast. It may take some time to get comfortable with breast’s appearance.

If you choose to have a lumpectomy, you may have to undergo radiation therapy five times a week for five to seven weeks after surgery. The side effects of radiation include vomiting, fatigue and nausea.

Getting Mentally Prepared for Lumpectomy

To determine the size and shape of tumor, you’ll go through several appointments with your doctor before surgery. These will include physical examinations and mammography. During these meetings, tell your surgeon about any allergies and medications you take including supplements. Also mention if you’re pregnant or you think you may be pregnant. You may get the advice to stop taking any blood thinners for some time before your surgery (to reduce the risk of bleeding) and restrict liquids for up to 8 to 12 hours before surgery. Bring a list of questions you have to your doctor. If you want you may bring a friend or family member as well.

On the day of your surgery it can be helpful to bring someone with you. A companion can provide support, listen to any instructions after surgery, and give you a ride home.

After The Surgery

After the procedure, you’ll be sent to the recovery room. When you’ll wake up, you can expect some pain in the operated area. You’ll be given medication for the pain. Your vital signs will be monitored. For few weeks after surgery, you’ll need to restrict your activities. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions after surgery as it takes time to heal.

If radiation therapy is required, then it’ll begin within few weeks of a surgery. After the radiation therapy is complete, you may choose to have breast reconstruction surgery, depending on the size of the lump removed. Though, most women are comfortable and they don’t opt for reconstruction after Lumpectomy.

Talk to your doctor before surgery, if you are concerned about having matching breasts. Your doctor may also suggest going for mastectomy if you’re worried about the cancer returning or if you don’t want radiation.

Lumpectomy: Things you should know

To ease the post-lumpectomy phase and to bring back the confidence in you, there are various breast forms available. These are made of medical silicone and covered with a matte-like polyurethane film for natural feel of breast tissue. These breast forms supplement partial breast surgery and reconstruction providing comfort and confidence.

Your doctor should recommend what type of bra to wear immediately post-surgery. One commonly prescribed bra is a Surgical Compression Bra that provides optimum form of stabilisation and immobilisation of an operated breast after surgery. The additional belt secures implants and prevents an upward dislocation. It promotes the healing process by controlled compression on the scar tissue.

You can even try Wear Ease Allyson Post Surgical Bra that features cushioned zipper front closure with adjustable straps for easy fitting. It is designed to be worn after a wide range of surgical procedures and treatments, including mastectomy and lumpectomy.